ret·ro·vi·rus | \ˈre-trō-ˌvī-rəs \

Definition of retrovirus 

: any of a family (Retroviridae) of single-stranded RNA viruses that produce reverse transcriptase by means of which DNA is produced using their RNA as a template and incorporated into the genome of infected cells, that are often tumorigenic, and that include the lentiviruses (such as the HIVs) and the causative agent of Rous sarcoma

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Other Words from retrovirus

retroviral \ˈre-trō-ˌvī-rəl \ adjective

Examples of retrovirus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The team also led the development of retroviruses as vectors to deliver DNA for gene therapy. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, "Famed cancer biologist allegedly sexually harassed women for decades," 26 Apr. 2018 Gandy cited research that identified high levels of retrovirus in the brains of patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Melissa Healy,, "Surprising discovery about viruses and Alzheimer’s disease could open new avenues for treatment," 22 June 2018 Some overlapped with regions of the genome that seem to belong to retroviruses that invaded our ancestors’ genomes; others belong to other repetitive stretches, which are rarely translated into proteins. Cassandra Willyard, Scientific American, "New Human Gene Tally Reignites Debate," 19 June 2018 The discovery of the first human retrovirus in 1980 was a minor scientific sensation. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "Scientists are declaring war against a leukemia-causing virus that has infected millions," 23 May 2018 First of all, HIV is a retrovirus, a type of virus that rarely infects humans. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "The Man Who Says Science Blew Its Best Shot at an AIDS Vaccine," 1 June 2018 Last year, a team of scientists used CRISPR technology to remove retroviruses from a pig's DNA and then cloned that pig, producing several small piglets with virus-free organs. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Ingestible Medical Device Can Tell Your Phone What's Happening in Your Gut," 24 May 2018 The little oinkers were completely retrovirus-free. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Pig Cells That Won’t Go Retro," 24 Jan. 2018 Pigs carry retroviruses, which replicate by permanently inserting their genes in the DNA of a host species. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Pig Cells That Won’t Go Retro," 24 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'retrovirus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of retrovirus

1975, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for retrovirus

New Latin

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The first known use of retrovirus was in 1975

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ret·ro·vi·rus | \ˈre-trō-ˌvī-rəs \

Medical Definition of retrovirus 

: any of the family Retroviridae of single-stranded RNA viruses

called also RNA tumor virus

Other Words from retrovirus

retroviral \-rəl \ adjective
retrovirally \ \ adverb

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exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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