Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), like the more typical retroviruses such as HIV, rewrite the DNA of the cells they infect; the endogenous retroviruses do so not just to the somatic (body) cells, but to the germline (reproductive) cells, becoming part of the DNA we pass down to the next generation. These aren't rare -- more of our DNA comprises these old retroviruses than genes that actually code for proteins. New ERVs generally will quickly lose their potency as viruses, but can come to play critical roles in how our bodies operate.
Makes you wonder if there could be a literal Burroughsian "word virus" lurking in our neurological source code . . .
Chernobyl: Lost world
Scientists have had access to limited data when it comes to assessing the true facts within the 4,000 square kilometres of the "zone of alienation". Photographs of the abandoned city of Pripyat, near Chernobyl, reveal that trees and shrubs have started to sprout through the roads and buildings. Nature has begun to reclaim what was originally lost to urban development and agriculture.
"Zone of alienation" has such a dire existential ring to it, don't you think?
(Both items cribbed from Beyond the Beyond.)