February 20, 2020
Since viruses were first discovered in 1892, and the discipline of virology was created, scientists have discovered a great deal about viruses. However, a new discovery made in Brazil has revealed that we still have a great deal to learn about them.
Researchers identified a virus in a sample taken from an artificial lake in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte called Lake Pampulha. This newly identified virus was named Yaravirus by the collaborative team of researchers from Federal University of Minas Gerais and Aix-Marsaille University. The Yaravirus is composed of 80nm-sized particles and contains genes previously unknown to science. In fact, over 90 percent of the genes found in Yaravirus have never been described by scientists and have no shared ancestry with any other described genes.
The team say they can only speculate what Yaravirus may be related to at this stage, as analysis of over 8,500 ‘metagenomes’ (genetic information gathered from environmental samples) offered no clues. The discovery of this virus highlights how little we really know about viral agents, and how virology is still an active area of research.
Source: Science Alert
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