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World's largest virus discovered

Posted on Saturday, 20 July, 2013 | Comment icon 10 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: US Navy

The new virus is so large that it is blurring the lines between what is a virus and what is a life form.

Up until now the largest known virus was the mimivirus which was discovered ten years ago. The new pandovirus however is twice as large again and is visible using a light microscope. With each virus containing as many as 2,500 genes the pandovirus is quite unlike anything seen before.

"We were prepared to find new viruses in the 1,000-gene range, but not to more than double that figure," said research director Chantal Abergel. "This really indicates than we don't know what are the possible limits anymore."

"Giant viruses, more than twice as big as the last largest known viruses, have now been unearthed from sludge across the world, researchers say."

  View: Full article

 Source: Discovery News

  Discuss: View comments (10)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Zaphod222 on 20 July, 2013, 13:55
I thought a virus is a life form already.
Comment icon #2 Posted by ashven on 20 July, 2013, 14:04
They should have a chat with it they may learn something interesting but don't tell it it's a virus,it may get upset
Comment icon #3 Posted by shrooma on 20 July, 2013, 14:49
I thought a virus is a life form already. . they're not considered to be a life-form Zaph because of their reproductive cycle, they can't manage it on their own, and have to hijack the cells of other organisms to reproduce. dunno why the article seems to think that because it's larger, it's a better chance of being classified as being 'alive'? i mean, mount everest is ****ing enormous, but i wouldn't bank on it lending me a tenner! ask any woman, she'll tell you that size isn't everything. (but she might smirk while she's saying it.....)
Comment icon #4 Posted by Zaphod222 on 20 July, 2013, 14:59
ask any woman, she'll tell you that size isn't everything. (but she might smirk while she's saying it.....) Well. My wife says that quality matters, not quantity. I guess she is diplomatic :-)
Comment icon #5 Posted by shrooma on 20 July, 2013, 15:12
Well. My wife says that quality matters, not quantity. I guess she is diplomatic :-) . you randy little studmuffin you!! :-) . *edit for server having a brain-fart and double-posting*
Comment icon #6 Posted by ancient astronaut on 20 July, 2013, 18:22
It's still alive today, it goes by the name Honey Boo-Boo.
Comment icon #7 Posted by pallidin on 20 July, 2013, 20:30
God save me... I think PETA is right around the corner on this.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Sundew on 21 July, 2013, 2:44
Interesting article, better than the first one I read about this that said this virus came from Mars because it only shares 9% of the DNA normal viruses have.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Chooky88 on 21 July, 2013, 15:20
I was dumb enough to argue with my year 11 biology teacher that viruses are alive. It's still my opinion but dumb because he marked by work!
Comment icon #10 Posted by Lex540 on 22 July, 2013, 7:25
sweet Mary mother of jesus

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