A project that identified almost every virus in the Indian flying fox heralds a new age of viral discovery.
Daszak’s team began by counting all the viruses in a single species, the Indian flying fox. Then, they extrapolated to include all 5,500 mammals, estimating that these animals harbor at least 320,000 viruses waiting to be discovered. The figure, while very rough, is meant as a starting point for future research to refine. “We made the edge of the jigsaw puzzle and now we’re working in from that,” said lead authorSimon Anthony from Columbia University,