In “World’s largest virus proves giants came from cells” (New Scientist, October 10, 2011), Michael Marshall explains,
The discovery of a megavirus virus is confirmation that giant viruses descended from complex cells that became simpler.
Since the discovery of the first giant virus, mimivirus, in 2003, researchers have debated how they evolved. Unlike conventional viruses, mimivirus carries many genes thought to be unique to cellular life, suggesting that it evolved from a cell.
Devolved, as in: A jar of pennies becomes a doorstop and a computer becomes a boat anchor. When you’ve really and truly found the reverse process … tweet!