Virophage discovery

2008-08-12

in Geek stuff, Science

A while ago, I mentioned a virus that infects a fungus and in turn allows a grass to live in hot soils. Recently, scientists discovered a 21-gene virus that infects larger viruses. The virus, called ‘Sputnik,’ infects a larger virus which in turn infects amoebas.

It just goes to show how complex the lives of microscopic organisms are. It also adds additional fuel to the debate about whether viruses themselves are actually alive, or whether they can only be considered alive after they have been incorporated into the nucleus of a host cell.

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