Scientists have recently discovered two new giant viruses in Brazil. According to the researchers, these two viruses possess an impressive genetic heritage and were discovered living in a hostile environment. The virologists even compare the newly discovered giant viruses with the Mimivirus, which is a 30,000-year-old giant virus that has been discovered by a French science team in Siberia, in 2014.
The viruses are ultra-resistant
According to the professor Bernard La Scola, the leader of the team that has discovered two new viruses in Brazil, these two giant viruses may be more important than HIV.
The viruses have been named Tupanvirus making reference to the traditional Brazilian god of thunder, Tupa.
One of the giant viruses has been discovered in the inhospitable waters of a soda lake, while the other has been collected from the oceanic sediments collected at a depth of 3000 meters off Brazil.
Both viruses are ultra-resistant viruses and that puzzled the virologists, at the moment.
The recently discovered two new giant viruses are equipped with a tail but its function remains unknown
Researchers said the viruses are between 450 and 550 nanometers in size and they are presenting a long and wide tail. However, the scientists couldn’t find what the tail is useful for.
These new viruses discovered in Brazil are comparable to the 30,000-year-old giant virus discovered by French scientists in Siberia, in 2014.
Do these viruses represent any danger to humans?
“Like other giant viruses that have been discovered in the past, Tupanvirus infects amoebae. The difference is that it is much more generalist: unlike the others, it is capable of infecting different types of amoebae,” explained Jonatas Abrahao, one member of the science team that has made the discovery.
Even though the recently discovered two new giant viruses don’t seem to be able to affect humans, scientists will know what these two giants are capable of, exactly, only after they’ll thoroughly investigate these new viruses discovered in Brazil.