Missing link

the human-monkey linkage certainly seems to be a strong one. Along with leaving their mark on the humans, the primates also seem to be responsible for transmitting fatal diseases like aids to their so-called descendents. This was recently revealed during a study conducted by researchers from France who identified a virus similar to hiv in 19 greater spot-nose monkeys of Cameroon.

The newly discovered virus is called simian immunodeficiency virus (siv). It has been named siv gsn by researchers from Montpellier-based Research Institute for Development (ird), who discovered it. The virus is similar to hiv -1, a strain of the human immunodeficiency virus.

The French researchers found that siv gsn contains a gene called Vpu that controls the way the virus reproduces. Moreover, the gene is responsible for the transmission of the virus to monkeys and humans. "Vpu plays a crucial role in the easy transmission of the virus,' said Eric Delaporte, a researcher at ird and the lead author of the study.

According to him, Vpu's discovery gives new insight about how the virus enters the human body