Scientists find a giant virus with a unique shape, similar to Medusa and a poinsettia: Okezone techno

FOR scientists find viruses that have a unique shape and appearance, one might even say like an alien. Uniquely, these viruses can actually be taken from a ground in the forest.

Soil samples were collected in 2019 from Harvard Forest, then sent to the Max Planck Institute in Germany to be examined using an electron microscope, which magnifies objects using an electron beam. This suggests that the ground is filled with viruses up to 635 nanometers wide.

This size is also classified as “giant” in the virus world, although there are still other giant viruses that are 1,500 nm wide. However, the size of this virus is much larger than viruses usually found in humans, such as Covid-19, which are 50-140 nm in size.

“Transmission electron microscopy revealed a surprising diversity of virus-like particles. Surprisingly, we found that a few hundred grams of forest soil contained more viruses than all the giant viruses isolated so far,” wrote the researchers as reported by Live Science .

One of these exotic giant viruses has large limbs arranged in a symmetrical pattern. Researchers also describe this virus as a turtle.

Unique viruses

Another virus has long tubes sticking out of all sides, resembling the ancient Greek mythological character, Medusa. Scientists have also called this structure the “Gorgon,” a creature called Medusa and her two sisters.

Unique viruses

Another category of viruses resembles stuffed Trolls, as they have messy “haircuts” with fibers of various lengths.

Unique viruses

Another giant virus in this “supernova” form has a thick strand of fibers near the capsid shell and a thick layer of regularly arranged tendrils on the outside.

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Unique viruses

While other viruses are called poinsettias because they have a double-layered shell that looks like two interlocking triangles, the “eagle” virus has a beak-like structure.

“The discovery of this exciting virus leaves little doubt that the high genetic diversity of giant viruses is compensated by an unimaginably diverse and diverse particle structure, the origins and functions of which are still being studied,” wrote microbiologist Matthias Fischer , electron microscopy expert Ulrike Mersdorf, and biologist Jeffrey Blanchard.

The giant viruses that parasitize the algae themselves have been studied for decades. But the search really took off in 2003, when the first giant (400 nm wide) virus growing in amoebae was found in a cooling tower in England. The virus is called a “mimivirus” because it mimics the appearance of bacteria.

A world record was set in 2010 when the 700 nm wide Megavirus chilensis was discovered off the coast of Chile. In 2013, a 1,000 nm long pandoravirus was found in a swimming pool in Melbourne.

This virus is named after the mythical Pandora’s box. The current record holder is the 1,500-nm-wide Pithovirus sibericum, a giant virus that was buried in Siberian permafrost for 30,000 years but was discovered when the ice melted in 2014.

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