Skip to comments.Pitt biologists find 'surprising' number of unknown viruses in sewage
Posted on 10/05/2011 4:59:23 PM PDT by decimon
Researchers developed new computational tools to characterize viruses; published this week in mBio
Though viruses are the most abundant life form on Earth, our knowledge of the viral universe is limited to a tiny fraction of the viruses that likely exist. In a paper published this week in the online journal mBio, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Barcelona found that raw sewage is home to thousands of novel, undiscovered viruses, some of which could relate to human health.
There are roughly 1.8 million species of organisms on our planet, and each one is host to untold numbers of unique viruses, but only about 3,000 have been identified to date. To explore this diversity and to better characterize the unknown viruses, Professor James Pipas, Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences Roger Hendrix, and Assistant Professor Michael Grabe, all of the Department of Biological Sciences in Pitt's Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, are developing new techniques to look for novel viruses in unique places around the world.
With coauthors David Wang and Guoyan Zhao of Washington University in St. Louis and Rosina Girones of the University of Barcelona, the team searched for the genetic signatures of viruses present in raw sewage from North America, Europe, and Africa.
In the paper, titled "Raw Sewage Harbors Diverse Viral Populations," the researchers report detecting signatures from 234 known viruses that represent 26 different families of viruses. This makes raw sewage home to the most diverse array of viruses yet found.
"What was surprising was that the vast majority of viruses we found were viruses that had not been detected or described before," says Hendrix.
(Excerpt) Read more at eurekalert.org ...
Makes one real happy they dump raw sewage on fields as fertilizer doesn’t it. :-)
Technically, viruses are not alive.
There are jobs American’s won’t do and this should be one of ‘em. I blab about this before checking to see who the scientist is. Eeeeeewwwww !
They could probably find all that and more in the rectums of those at any garden variety gay club.
When Marc Brunel’s tunnel under the Thames was being bored, the number of viruses in that river of slop must have been staggering. No wonder “tunnel sickness” took many forms.
Disgusting. Very interesting and useful to science, but disgusting.
That's been done for thousands of years. I suppose you also worry about drinking water because of what fish do in it.
Tell that to them the next time you get a cold. ;-)
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Thanks decimon....signatures from 234 known viruses that represent 26 different families of viruses...Demwits will be trying to collect those signatures ASAP, and Republicans will do *nothing*. /s
NOW I KNOW what mom meant when she told me ESAD!!! THANKS MOM!!!
You know what they say. Lay down with sewers and wake up with viruses. Or, maybe it was Lay down with viruses and wake up in a sewer?
I get so confused.
fish doo pathogens probably aren’t dangerous to humans.
fields enfeced with night soil are. you wouldn’t believe
the skin sores on Viet farmers...
Did she serve meatloaf much?
OK, we'll divert it over to your yard!
That’s why I don’t eat produce from Mexico.
Yep, they don’t even want cured human sewage to be used on golf courses anymore.
Yeah, the “Hole In One” could end up being “Ebola”.
The scientific names for these virii should all contain “kaka”. Maybe in Latin though.
Oh, the diversity!
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