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Marine predator makes virus to fight off giant virus

Megavirus particle. Thin section, electron microscopy/Chantal Abergel

Does anyone remember this from our textbook cell biology? From Michael Le Page at New Scientist:

Giants, self-sacrifice, biological warfare: this story has them all. A voracious marine predator plagued by a giant virus has a defence system we’ve never seen before – it fights back by making its very own virus.

The individuals that make these bioweapons sacrifice themselves for the greater good, saving their fellow predators in the process.

The single-celled predator, Cafeteria roenbergensis, is common in coastal waters around the world, where it snacks on bacteria More.

Giant viruses have yet to be factored into a serious discussion of living things.

Curiously, the Royal Society suppressed discussion of the role of viruses at its upcoming rethinking evolution meeting.

Maybe too many apple carts are getting upset already.

Meanwhile, here is a site on giant viruses.

See also: Horizontal gene transfer: Virus carries DNA of black widow spider toxin

Largest virus genomes hint at fourth domain of life?

The French vs. Darwinism

Mimivirus discoverer doubts Darwin, banned from publication in France

Megavirus has largest currently known genome, mimics cell genome

See also: New Nature paper challenges conventional boundaries between kingdoms of life

Not to worry: Darwin’s followers can catch up once they can find some way that Darwin predicted all this.

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