[re-truh-vahy-ruh s, re-truh-vahy-]
- any of a family of single-stranded RNA viruses having a helical envelope and containing an enzyme that allows for a reversal of genetic transcription, from RNA to DNA rather than the usual DNA to RNA, the newly transcribed viral DNA being incorporated into the host cell's DNA strand for the production of new RNA retroviruses: the family includes the AIDS virus and certain oncogene-carrying viruses implicated in various cancers.
Origin of retrovirus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for retrovirus
He was part of the groundbreaking team that first discovered a retrovirus causes AIDS.How Botswana Beat AIDS
June 4, 2010
Instead of using a retrovirus (as Japanese scientists had done) that can cause cancer, they are using an adenovirus which is safe.Bush's Deadly Blunder
November 26, 2008
- any of several viruses whose genetic specification is encoded in RNA rather than DNA and that are able to reverse the normal flow of genetic information from DNA to RNA by transcribing RNA into DNA: many retroviruses are known to cause cancer in animals
Word Origin and History for retrovirus
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A virus of the family Retroviridae.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Any of a group of RNA viruses whose RNA is used as a template inside a host cell for the formation of DNA by means of the enzyme reverse transcriptase. The DNA thus formed is inserted into the host cell's genome. Most retroviruses can cause cancer. Retroviruses also include HIV.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.