Skip to comments.'Virus-eater' discovered in Antarctic lake
Posted on 03/29/2011 3:23:02 PM PDT by neverdem
First of the parasitic parasites to be discovered in a natural environment points to hidden diversity.
A genomic survey of the microbial life in an Antarctic lake has revealed a new virophage a virus that attacks viruses. The discovery suggests that these life forms are more common, and have a larger role in the environment, than was once thought.
An Australian research team found the virophage while surveying the extremely salty Organic Lake in eastern Antarctica. While sequencing the collective genome of microbes living in the surface waters, they discovered the virus, which they dubbed the Organic Lake Virophage (OLV).
The OLV genome was identified nestling within the sequences of phycodnaviruses a group of giant viruses that attack algae. Evidence of gene exchange, and possible co-evolution, between the two suggests that OLV preys on the phycodnavirus. Although OLV is the dominant virophage in the lake, the work suggests others might be present.
By killing phycodnaviruses, the OLV might allow algae to thrive. Ricardo Cavicchioli, a microbiologist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and his colleagues found that mathematical models of the Organic Lake system that took account of the virophage's toll on its host showed lower algal mortality and more blooms during the lake's two ice-free summer months.
"Our work reveals not only an amazing diversity in microbial life in this lake, but also how little we understand about the complexity of the biological functions at work," says Cavicchioli. The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science1...
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
“parasitic parasites”? Who wrote this twaddle?
The DOI for the first citation worked like a charm if you want to read the abstract. Save that Resolve A DOI Name website if you don't have a similar website already.
A journalistic journalist?
It's a virus that "lives" off another species of virus.
I know what a parasite is, but it seems to me that a “parasitic parasite” is redundant.
Methinks you've got it!
So the parasite is parasitic to a parasite.
What else do you call a parasite that goes after parasites?
If we find a virus that attacks other viruses,
that may open the door to treating a lot of
Given that viruses can’t do anything without having invaded a full fledged cell, then it sounds like the phage gets cells to eliminate the other virus, rather than attacking the other virus in the wild.
This might be an interesting concept for the field of medicine. Imagine an anti-flu virus which would be benign to the human body but set a significant number of its cells up to pro-actively attack flu viruses. Or if it’s deemed too dangerous to try on people, then something like this on a veterinary level.
(both Paris sites)
Ok, not that funny.
A government employee at the welfare office would fit the bill.
what happens if a parasite has a parasite? How would you describe the parasite’s parasite and its parasital action on the parasite?
Correct. Other than the ad infinitum part. There is, after all, a limit (so far) in that it has to be DNA or RNA that carries the code to make the molecular machines that reproduce the DNA or RNA code.
But a virophage is just.... wow.
A virus is about as striped down simple as anything that could possibly said to be alive could be. It is a protein package meant to dock with and inject DNA or RNA into a living cell, where that DNA or RNA codes for viral proteins and get replicated and they get assembled ‘Frankenstein's monster style’ and burst out to infect other living cells.
This thing gets inside another virus? Doesn't it at some point have to infect a living cell in order to copy itself?
I give you an “A” for concept, but a “D” on execution.
Overall, a “B-”
So I guess it works like this. These giant viruses infect Zooplankton in the lake and these virophages have protein shells to dock with and inject their “code” into the giant virus and get incorporated into the viral genome.
When the infected virus (infected by a smaller virus) infects a Zooplankon and reproduces - it reproduces WITH IT - the little sucker that will infect uninfected virus.
All this reproducing of the ‘virophage’ during its own infection of Zooplankton really messes up the virus - and allows the Zooplankon to thrive more than it would if the virus went unchecked.
..............................................................................wow...............................................that is CRAZY!!!!!!!!!
It is unless you’re talking about Leftists.