Viruses are among the tiniest lifeforms on Earth. Viruses can not survive or reproduce without a host questioning their classification as living things. In a fascinating discovery, scientists have discovered a virus that has no previously identified genes. According to reports, this makes it one of the strangest virus'.
Jônatas Abrahão who is a virologist at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte in Brazil reportedly said that this recent find just goes to show how much scientists still need to understand about viruses. Abrahão and his colleagues were looking for giant viruses which are microbes that can sometimes grow to the size of bacteria.
Abrahão found the giant viruses that he was looking for but also found a virus that was extremely small and thus was very unique. The team named the virus Yaravirus. According to reports, when the team tried to sequence the Yaravirus, they discovered that none of its genes matched any that scientists had previously come across.
According to Abrahão, Yaravirus's genes look slightly like the genes of a giant virus but it still remains a mystery how they are related. While Abrahão looks for the Yaravirus another team of researchers are attempting to cast a wider net. Virologists at the National Cancer Institute are searching for viruses in animal tissue. In particular, they are searching for circular viruses that include papillomaviruses, one of which, human papillomavirus, can cause cervical cancer, and another virus that’s usually harmless to people.
Till now the team of researchers have discovered almost 2500 circular virus, of which 600 are new to science.
These new studies that are aimed at discovering new viruses have implications that go beyond locating viruses that cause disease. These studies will also help in discovering the viruses that can help keep the human body health.