Giant viruses may simply be “Frankenstein” of smaller viruses

Date: April 6, 2017

Source: DOE/Joint Genome Institute


Summary: Viruses have ubiquitous presence in the world. Scientists are interested to study viruses behavior, and to study giant viruses. Recent research discovered that giant viruses and recent viruses are more cell-like now than ever before. Scientists made two evolutionary hypotheses regarding giant virus’ origin. The first hypothesis is that giant viruses came from an evolved ancient cell, and the second one states that giant viruses arose from the smaller viruses.

Connection: This article’s main study was viruses and we were studying viruses and how they infiltrate their host cells.

Critical Analysis: This article is pretty straightforward, even though it mentioned complex processes. What I learned from this article is that the main virus that they were studying was klosneuvirus, which have a huge impact on protists. Scientists’ discovery provided new ways of studying viruses, as well as giant viruses. Scientists’ found out that viruses are becoming more and more cell-like, and because of new found discoveries from their research, they are able to vastly expand their understanding on how viruses capture their host genes during their evolution. I think its really interesting that scientists created two evolutionary hypothesis regarding giant viruses’ origin. Either if giant viruses came from an ancient cell and evolved or if giant viruses arose from the smaller ones. With this in mind, scientists conducted metagenomic tests and found out that   klosneuvirus groups came from from viral lineages affiliated with mimivirus, which are viruses that were found around 2003 and is also a giant virus. I think that these facts that scientists found out were interesting and vital to future research about giant viruses.

Question: Which theory do you think is more accurate and why?