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Giant Pandoravirus is 1,000 times larger than influenca virus and contains 2556 genes

Giant Pandoravirus is 1,000 times larger than influenca virus and contains 2556 genes | Virology News | Scoop.it

Giant viruses turn out to be everywhere. It was the very giant-ness of giant viruses that allowed them to be overlooked for so long. Scientists first discovered viruses in the late 1800s when they were puzzled by a disease that beset tobacco plants. They mashed up wilted tobacco leaves with water and passed the mixture through fine porcelain filters that trapped bacteria and fungi. The clear liquid could still make healthy tobacco leaves sick. The Dutch botanist Martinus Beijerinck dubbed it “a contagious living fluid.”

 

In the 1930s, the invention of powerful microscopes finally allowed scientists to see viruses. They found that viruses were unlike ordinary cells: they didn’t generate their own fuel; they didn’t grow or divide. Instead, viruses invaded cells, hijacking their biochemistry to make new copies of themselves. Being small and simple seemed like part of the viral way of life, allowing them to replicate fast.

 

It wasn’t until 2003 that a team of French researchers discovered the first giant virus. They had been puzzling over sphere-shaped objects that were the size of bacteria but contained no bacterial DNA. Eventually they realized that they were looking at a monstrously oversized virus, containing 979 genes, much less than the newly discovered Pandoravirus.

 

Those first giant viruses were isolated from amoebae living in water from a cooling tower. Once scientists realized that viruses could be so large, they changed their search parameters and started finding other species in all manner of places, from swamps to rivers to contact lens fluid.

 

And along the way the biggest viruses got bigger. In 2011, Dr. Claverie and his colleagues set a new record with megaviruses, a type of giant virus with 1,120 genes they discovered in sea water off the coast of Chile. They then dug into the sediment below that sea water and discovered pandoravirsues, with more than twice as many genes.

 

Dr. Claverie speculates that pandoraviruses and other giant viruses evolved from free-living microbes that branched off from other life several billion years ago. “The type of cells they may have evolved from may have disappeared,” he said.

 

The idea that giant viruses represent separate branches on the tree of life is a controversial one that many other experts aren’t ready to embrace. “They provide no evidence for that notion, so it seems a distraction to me,” said T. Martin Embley, a professor of evolutionary molecular biology at Newcastle University.

 

Despite those reservations, Dr. Embley and other researchers hail pandoraviruses as an important discovery. “I think it’s wonderful that such crazy and divergent lifeforms continue to be discovered,” said Tom Williams, Dr. Embley’s colleague at Newcastle University.

 

The new study also drives home the fact that giant viruses are far from rare. Shortly after discovering pandoraviruses in sea floor sediment, Dr. Claverie and his colleagues found them in water from a lake in Australia, 10,000 miles away. “It definitely indicates that they must not be rare at all,” said Dr. Claverie.

 

Giant viruses may be so common, in fact, that they may be hiding inside of us, too. In a paper published online on July 2 in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, French researchers offered evidence that giant viruses dwell in healthy people. They isolated a new giant virus from blood donated by a healthy volunteer, and then found antibodies and other signs of the virus in four other donors.

 

Giant viruses may lurk harmlessly in our bodies, invading the amoebae we harbor. Whether they can make us sick is an open question. “I don’t believe we have the proof at the moment that these viruses could infect humans,” said Dr. Claverie.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Tomas Moravec's comment, July 23, 2013 3:14 AM
It is surprising how these large gyus avoided discovery for such a long time.
Ed Rybicki's comment, July 23, 2013 3:17 AM
Well, if they look like bacteria, and we are still finding new exemplars of those...
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PDB-101: Goodsell Gallery: Coronavirus Life Cycle

PDB-101: Goodsell Gallery: Coronavirus Life Cycle | Virology News | Scoop.it

This illustration shows a cross section through a cell infected with a coronavirus such as SARS-CoV-2. It shows a time point when the virus is actively replicating, and new viruses are being created. The cell’s molecules are shown in blues and greens, and the viral molecules are shown in pinks and purples. The illustration integrates the current state of knowledge, but many aspects of the virus and its life cycle are still actively being studied, so portions of the painting are speculative. Additional resources for exploring coronavirus are available at PDB-101 and the main RCSB PDB site.


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Coronavirus killed three times as many people as flu and pneumonia combined, figures show | UK News

Coronavirus killed three times as many people as flu and pneumonia combined, figures show | UK News | Virology News | Scoop.it
The mortality rate for COVID-19 is also "significantly higher" than for flu and pneumonia this year.
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Russia likely to register a second COVID-19 vaccine on October 15

Russia likely to register a second COVID-19 vaccine on October 15 | Virology News | Scoop.it
The vaccine has been developed by Siberia’s Vector Institute, which completed early-stage human trials of the vaccine last month.
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Sequential infection with influenza A virus followed by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) leads to more severe disease and encephalitis in a mouse model of COVID-19. | bi...

bioRxiv - the preprint server for biology, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a research and educational institution...
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Poultry farmers and pet bird keepers urged to prepare for winter avian flu

Poultry farmers and pet bird keepers urged to prepare for winter avian flu | Virology News | Scoop.it
Poultry keepers are urged to prepare for winter avian flu and reduce the risk of disease in their birds over the winter...
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Andrew Wakefield's fraudulent war on vaccines

Andrew Wakefield's fraudulent war on vaccines | Virology News | Scoop.it
Described by the New York Times as "one of the most reviled doctors of his generation", Andrew Wakefield, known for his false claims of a causative connection between the MMR vaccine and autism, was struck off following a hearing of the General Medical Council in 2003.
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Novavax Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing Agreement with Serum Institute of India

Novavax Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing Agreement with Serum Institute of India | Virology News | Scoop.it
NVAX Novavax Inc Novavax Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing Agreement with Serum Institute of India, Increasing Novavax’ Global Produc...
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Modeling the Worldwide Spread of Pandemic Influenza: Baseline Case and Containment Interventions

Modeling the Worldwide Spread of Pandemic Influenza: Baseline Case and Containment Interventions | Virology News | Scoop.it
A metapopulation stochastic epidemic model for influenza shows the need to include air transportation when assessing the occurrence probability of global outbreaks. The impact of the use of antiviral drugs is also measured.
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In coronavirus vaccine race, China inoculates thousands before trials are completed | Reuters

In coronavirus vaccine race, China inoculates thousands before trials are completed | Reuters | Virology News | Scoop.it
China is inoculating tens of thousands of its citizens with experimental coronavirus vaccines and attracting international interest in their development, despite expert concerns over the safety of drugs that have not completed standard testing.
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Coronavirus vaccine may be ready for public November – China

Coronavirus vaccine may be ready for public November – China | Virology News | Scoop.it
An official the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Guizhen Wu, has said the coronavirus vaccines being developed in China may be ready...
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Why the Mutation That Made SARS-CoV-2 More Infective Isn't That Big a Deal

Why the Mutation That Made SARS-CoV-2 More Infective Isn't That Big a Deal | Virology News | Scoop.it
The chances that a vaccine will not work due to a single amino acid changing is very, very, very low.
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Louis Vuitton designed a luxury face shield selling for nearly $1K

Louis Vuitton designed a luxury face shield selling for nearly $1K | Virology News | Scoop.it
Louis Vuitton designed a luxury face shield selling for nearly $1K...
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Flu Season Disappeared in the Southern Hemisphere This Year –

Flu Season Disappeared in the Southern Hemisphere This Year – | Virology News | Scoop.it
Ever since we all started wearing masks and social distancing because of COVID-19 I’ve been wondering whether this would have an effect on other illnesses. Will we have fewer colds? Less flu? It seems like we should.
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Aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2? Evidence, prevention and control 

As public health teams respond to the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), containment and understanding of the modes of severe acute resp…...
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'Brain fog': the people struggling to think clearly months after Covid | World news | The Guardian

'Brain fog': the people struggling to think clearly months after Covid | World news | The Guardian | Virology News | Scoop.it
Doctors grapple for answers as more patients report post-coronavirus cognitive impairment...
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'Near extinction' of influenza in NZ as numbers drop due to lockdown

'Near extinction' of influenza in NZ as numbers drop due to lockdown | Virology News | Scoop.it
Mask wearing and social distancing for Covid-19 has all but cut influenza cases in New Zealand this year, with only six flu isolates detected in this country from April to August.  Professor Michael Baker offers his analysis.
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Coronavirus can last 28 days on glass, currency, study finds | Inquirer News

Coronavirus can last 28 days on glass, currency, study finds | Inquirer News | Virology News | Scoop.it
The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said on Monday, highlighting the need for cleaning and hand-washing to combat the virus.
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What counts as a 'superspreader' event?

What counts as a 'superspreader' event? | Virology News | Scoop.it
Face-to-face gatherings up the chance for COVID-19's spread, but which events are "superspreaders" and how can we prevent them? An expert explains.
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Vaccine maker warns it could take until 2024 to vaccinate everyone against Covid-19

The world's largest vaccine maker, Serum Institute, says it may take until 2024 to get everyone a Covid-19 vaccine if the vaccine requires two doses. CNN's Athena Jones reports.
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Flu outbreaks may be linked to COVID-19; arthritis drug benefit seen | BusinessWorld

Flu outbreaks may be linked to COVID-19; arthritis drug benefit seen | BusinessWorld | Virology News | Scoop.it

The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Flu may be linked with coronavirus spread Influenza outbreaks may be linked with the spread of COVID-19 infections, according to a European study. The researchers created a mathematical model of transmission of the novel coronavirus in Belgium, Italy, Norway and Spain. It calculates that higher rates of influenza infections would be associated with increased coronavirus transmission in each of the countries

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Strict distancing keeps your COVID risk much lower

Strict distancing keeps your COVID risk much lower | Virology News | Scoop.it
"Our findings support the idea that if you're going out, you should practice social distancing to the extent possible..."...
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Russia to Supply 100M Doses of Sputnik V Vaccine to Dr Reddy’s

Russia to Supply 100M Doses of Sputnik V Vaccine to Dr Reddy’s | Virology News | Scoop.it
Sputnik V, an adenovirus vector-based vaccine, was developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, along with the Russian Direct Investment Fund and registered on 11 August.
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Sinovac reports preliminary Phase I/II results of COVID-19 vaccine in elderly volunteers

Sinovac Biotech Ltd.(NASDAQ: SVA) ("Sinovac" or the "Company"), a leading provider of biopharmaceutical products in China...
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A role for gorilla APOBEC3G in shaping lentivirus evolution including transmission to humans

A role for gorilla APOBEC3G in shaping lentivirus evolution including transmission to humans | Virology News | Scoop.it
Author summary Humans are exposed continuously to a menace of viral diseases such as Ebola virus and coronaviruses. Such emerging/re-emerging viral outbreaks can be triggered by cross-species viral transmission from wild animals to humans.
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Table: Viruses that Threaten to Spark Another Pandemic

Table: Viruses that Threaten to Spark Another Pandemic | Virology News | Scoop.it
A coronavirus has been commanding the headlines for months, but strains of influenza and paramyxovirus are extremely dangerous pathogens that could spark outbreaks.
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AstraZeneca COVID vaccine trials resume after being put on hold

AstraZeneca COVID vaccine trials resume after being put on hold | Virology News | Scoop.it
Phase three clinical trials resumed after pausing to review safety data. Around 18,000 people have received the vaccine, which is being developed in partnership with the University of Oxford.
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