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Biggest virus ever: “We don’t understand anything anymore!”

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Bacteria  size range.

The newly thawed virus is the biggest one ever found. At 1.5 micrometres long, it is comparable in size to a small bacterium. Evolutionary biologists Jean-Michel Claverie and Chantal Abergel, the husband-and-wife team at Aix-Marseille University in France who led the work, named it Pithovirus sibericum, inspired by the Greek word ‘pithos’ for the large container used by the ancient Greeks to store wine and food. – Nature News

From the discoverers of the giant virus resurrected from 30,000-year-old ice (still infectious): “We thought it was a property of viruses that they pack DNA extremely tightly into the smallest particle possible, but this guy is 150 times less compacted than any bacteriophage [viruses that infect bacteria]. We don’t understand anything anymore!”:

Not so fast. We have learned a bit from giant viruses. We have learned about devolution, for example, a form of evolution in which a life form significantly changes by losing a great deal of information while remaining alive. Some think this happened to the recently discovered giant mimivirus: “Unlike conventional viruses, mimivirus carries many genes thought to be unique to cellular life, suggesting that it evolved from a cell.” Also, one virus carries the genome of a smaller virus.

A researcher looking at the earlier Marseillevirus, responded,

“There is a mechanism of permanent creation going on in amoeba producing a new repertoire of viruses and predisposing giant viruses to become pathogens once they specialise”, Raoult said.

He said the mechanism was not foreseen by Charles Darwin’s theory that life comes from a common ancestor.

“The idea of a common ancestor makes no sense in the light of viruses,” he said. “That was Darwin’s idea, but he was clearly wrong.”

Either:

1. None of these creationists should be allowed to hold a job in science.

or

2. We do so understand “anything anymore.” We understand that the Darwinian lectern-bashers are wrong, and we must choose. Either believe them and shut up, or learn more about what nature is really like.

Fortunately, it is not yet illegal for nature to differ from a tenured prof or a pressure group.

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One Reply to “Biggest virus ever: “We don’t understand anything anymore!”

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Excellent find News! 🙂

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