Introducing the ‘Vampire Virus’ and What it Means for You
Just the name is enough to give you the chills. And it's okay if you've never heard of it because it's a first-time thing for scientists observing it. The United States is the first time it's ever been seen and if it seems scary, here's what you need to know.
According to Popular Science, for the first time, scientists observed one virus attaching itself to another virus. Basically, these viruses prey on other viruses to replicate themselves. They do this by attaching themselves to the neck of the other virus. It's like one virus starts sucking on another. Just to get technical for a quick moment, the viruses that do this are groups of viruses that infect bacteria called bacteriophages.
The Vampire Virus was discovered by scientists at the University of Maryland and one of the scientists, Tagide DeCaralho, says it took a very special microscope to discover viruses latching onto each other like this.
I could see literally hundreds of them had this little guy attached to the neck, and it was clearly not random. We know that viruses can do some amazing, interesting things. But this is just another new thing that no one could have predicted we would see. I can’t believe this. No one has ever seen a bacteriophage—or any other virus—attach to another virus.
So what does this mean for us? According to The Conversation website, this groundbreaking discovery means a new way to study viral infections and hopefully help revolutionize how to combat them.
COVID-19 taught scientists and doctors alike that the supply of antivirals' and the predatory nature of them is limited. Hopefully, this will open new avenues for antiviral therapy according to The Conversation.
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