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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 4:14 AM
It is surprising how these large gyus avoided discovery for such a long time.
Ed Rybicki's comment, July 23, 2013 4:17 AM
Well, if they look like bacteria, and we are still finding new exemplars of those...
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Britain gives first European approval to Valneva COVID shot

Britain gives first European approval to Valneva COVID shot | Virology News | Scoop.it
Britain approved Valneva's COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, becoming the first European country to clear the use of the French firm's shot in a move that boosted its shares by more than 20%.
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North Korea and Eritrea are the only two countries without vaccines

North Korea and Eritrea are the only two countries without vaccines | Virology News | Scoop.it
North Korea, like Eritrea, has refused to join vaccine-sharing initiatives....
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South Africa in new surge of COVID from versions of omicron 

South Africa in new surge of COVID from versions of omicron  | Virology News | Scoop.it
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa is experiencing a surge of new COVID-19 cases driven by two omicron sub-variants, according to health experts. For about three weeks the country has seen increasing numbers of new cases and somewhat higher hospitalizations, but not increases in severe cases and...
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Safety and Immunogenicity of BNT162b2 Coadministered With SIIV in Adults 18 Through 64 Years of Age

Safety and Immunogenicity of BNT162b2 Coadministered With SIIV in Adults 18 Through 64 Years of Age - Full Text View.
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A rapid water bath PCR combined with lateral flow assay for the simultaneous detection of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza B virus

The outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in significant global health and economic threats to the human society.
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Covid nasal spray could be next leap in coronavirus vaccine development

Covid nasal spray could be next leap in coronavirus vaccine development | Virology News | Scoop.it
A nasal spray could block the transmission of Covid-19, scientists say...
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A Brutal Wave of Bird Flu Spotlights the Need for a Poultry Vaccine

A Brutal Wave of Bird Flu Spotlights the Need for a Poultry Vaccine | Virology News | Scoop.it
More than 27 million birds have died or been slaughtered, and wild birds are dying too. Without a shot, farmers have to rely on vigilance and culling their flocks.
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Requirements for the Packaging of Geminivirus Circular Single-Stranded DNA: Effect of DNA Length and Coat Protein Sequence

Requirements for the Packaging of Geminivirus Circular Single-Stranded DNA: Effect of DNA Length and Coat Protein Sequence | Virology News | Scoop.it
Geminivirus particles, consisting of a pair of twinned isometric structures, have one of the most distinctive capsids in the virological world. Until recently, there was little information as to how these structures are generated.
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Malaria vaccine reaches more than one million children in Africa

Malaria vaccine reaches more than one million children in Africa | Virology News | Scoop.it
The vaccination programme was launched in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi in 2019...
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Novavax Reports its COVID-19 Influenza Combination Vaccine is Well-Tolerated, Provides Immune Response

Novavax Reports its COVID-19 Influenza Combination Vaccine is Well-Tolerated, Provides Immune Response | Virology News | Scoop.it
The investigational vaccine's findings from their phase 1/2 clinical trial were reported at the World Vaccine Congress....
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Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were three times as likely to die than those with seasonal influenza

Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were three times as likely to die than those with seasonal influenza | Virology News | Scoop.it
Adults (aged 18 or older) hospitalized with COVID-19 are at higher risk of complications and death than those with influenza, despite being younger and having fewer chronic illnesses, according to a retrospective cohort study conducted at the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona.
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Record avian flu outbreak is threatening North America’s birds. Is the virus here to stay? 

Record avian flu outbreak is threatening North America’s birds. Is the virus here to stay?  | Virology News | Scoop.it
Farmers forced to kill millions of poultry amid worries for wild species...
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Nigeria: African Vaccination Week 2022 - Equitable Vaccine Access Can Help Build Resilient Communities

Nigeria: African Vaccination Week 2022 - Equitable Vaccine Access Can Help Build Resilient Communities | Virology News | Scoop.it
Blog - From the old (smallpox) to the new (COVID-19), for centuries, vaccines have helped save and promote healthier lives for people of all ages. In the last 2 decades, major gains in the development and production of vaccines have helped prevent more than 20 life-threatening diseases.
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World's First Malaria Vaccine Expands Rollout

World's First Malaria Vaccine Expands Rollout | Virology News | Scoop.it
The results from a WHO pilot points to more countries in sub-Saharan Africa receiving the world's first malaria vaccine.
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Emerging Novel Reassortant Influenza A(H5N6) Viruses in Poultry and Humans, China, 2021

Emerging Novel Reassortant Influenza A(H5N6) Viruses in Poultry and Humans, China, 2021 | Virology News | Scoop.it
Emerging Novel Reassortant Influenza A(H5N6) Viruses in Poultry and Humans, China, 2021...
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Bird flu H5N1 spreads to foxes in US, 4 die –

Bird flu H5N1 spreads to foxes in US, 4 die – | Virology News | Scoop.it
New York:   Four red baby foxes in the US reportedly died in what is known as the first case of...
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Structure-based design of 5'-substituted 1,2,3-triazolylated oseltamivir derivatives as potent influenza neuraminidase inhibitors

Resistant viruses containing mutant neuraminidases (NAs) with diminished drug affinity continue to emerge, and new anti-influenza agents are urgently required.Several potent inhibitors targeting the hydrophobic 150-cavity of viral NAs have been developed by modifying the antiviral drugs, oseltamivi...
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From Outbreak to Near Disappearance: How Did Non-pharmaceutical Interventions Against COVID-19 Affect the Transmission of Influenza Virus?

Influenza shares the same putative transmission pathway with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and causes tremendous morbidity and mortality annually globally.Since the transmission of COVID-19 in China, a series of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) against to the disease have been impleme...
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Estimating the life course of influenza A(H3N2) antibody responses from cross-sectional data

The immunity of a host population against specific influenza A strains can influence a number of important biological processes, from the emergence of new virus strains to the effectiveness of vaccination programmes.
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Africa’s first Covid-19 vaccine factory has not received a single order 

Africa’s first Covid-19 vaccine factory has not received a single order  | Virology News | Scoop.it
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, many African countries have lagged far behind much of the world in getting their people vaccinated — and some countries have had difficulty distributing what doses they did get.
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Left-Handed Nanoparticle Adjuvant Boosts Flu Vaccine Efficacy in Mice by 25%

Left-Handed Nanoparticle Adjuvant Boosts Flu Vaccine Efficacy in Mice by 25% | Virology News | Scoop.it
Tests on human immune cells showed that chiral nanoparticles induced an immune response even in the absence of antigen.
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Aspen In Talks With African Leaders on Low Covid Vaccine Orders - BNN Bloomberg

Aspen In Talks With African Leaders on Low Covid Vaccine Orders - BNN Bloomberg | Virology News | Scoop.it
Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. is in talks with African leaders about how to raise demand for Covid-19 vaccines after the continent’s biggest drugmaker warned a lack of orders may force it to stop making the shots.
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NJ homeowners need to get rid of bird feeders immediately

NJ homeowners need to get rid of bird feeders immediately | Virology News | Scoop.it
Wildlife researchers say there’s an outbreak of bird flu. Your bird feeder is helping spread it.
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Serum Stops Making Covid Vaccines With 200 Million Doses Spare

Serum Stops Making Covid Vaccines With 200 Million Doses Spare | Virology News | Scoop.it
(Bloomberg) -- Serum Institute of India Ltd., the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer and a key supplier of Covid-19 inoculations to developing countries, has stopped making fresh batches of shots after its stockpile grew to 200 million doses amid a global supply glut.
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How the lessons of COVID-19 might apply to containing avian influenza 

How the lessons of COVID-19 might apply to containing avian influenza  | Virology News | Scoop.it
Avian influenza is spreading quickly across Canada, resulting in poultry flocks being culled and farmers seeing their livelihoods threatened. Chicken farmers Ray Nickel and Peggy Ife explain how their farms have been affected by the virus.
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