posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 05:52 PM
The two large viruses, detailed in this week's issue of the journal Science, have been dubbed "Pandoraviruses" because of the surprises they may
hold for biologists, in reference to the mythical Greek figure who opened a box and released evil into the world.
The discovery of Pandoraviruses is an indication that our knowledge of Earth's microbial biodiversity is still incomplete, explained study coauthor
Jean-Michel Claverie, a virologist at the French National Research Agency at Aix-Marseille University.
I thought this was pretty cool, and decided I should share it with you folks here on ATS.
First, instead of splitting in two like typical bacterium or cells, the Pandoraviruses spawned hundreds of new copies in one cycle. Secondly, they
both lacked the genes needed for energy production. Finally, they could not produce proteins without infecting single-celled organisms known as
amoebas, which seem to be the Pandoraviruses' preferred hosts.
Further surprises awaited the team when they analyzed the Pandoraviruses' genomes. That of P. dulcis contained about 1,500 genes, while that of P.
salinus contained more than 2,500 genes. A typical flu virus can have as few as 10 genes, and M. chilensis has only about 1,000 genes.
Really cool stuff.
I think it is very interesting that these huge viruses seem to only attack Amoebas, it seems counter-intuitive to me. But then thinking about it a
little more, I guess it makes sense.
Amoebas are the oldest form of life on the planet, so it stands to reason that viruses effecting them specifically would evolve to grow larger and
Just throwing this out there, not really supported by anything. But maybe these are the ancestors of "intelligent" viruses we may need to deal with a
few million or a billion years from now?
Which raises the question: Are there intelligent races of virus out there in the universe? Or even here on Earth that we don't know about?
Fun to think about.
"The fact that two of them were found almost simultaneously from very distant locations either indicate that we were incredibly lucky," Claverie
said, "or that they are not rare."
edit on 18-7-2013 by watchitburn because: (no reason given)
edit on 18-7-2013 by
watchitburn because: (no reason given)