Peer-reviewed articles

The virus has the source

Authors: Ævarsson, A.

Version: The research

Publication year: 2018


The European Virus-X project explores the virus genomes contained in extreme environments: geothermal hot springs in Iceland, large marine funds of the North Atlantic… for molecular biology applications.

The estimated number of viruses on Earth extends far beyond the estimated number of stars in the Observable Universe. Each type of organism, unicellular or multicellular, can potentially be infected by them. Even in the most extreme environments, such as geothermal hot water sources, we find, at temperatures near 100 ° C, viruses that live and propagate by infecting the bacteria that thrive in these conditions.

The viruses carry in them the genes necessary for their propagation by the infection of their host cell. Despite the sequencing of genomes of very numerous organisms during the last ten years, those viruses remain largely mysterious. Ditto for the function of proteins coded by viral genomes. Pourta…

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