Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Never-before-seen GIANT virus found that's so unusual it may have come from Mars

The Pandoravirus is one micrometre big - ten times the size of other viruses
It is found underwater but is not considered a threat to humans
The virus has been spotted off the coast of Chile and in an Australian pond
Only six per cent of its genes resemble those seen before on Earth

Scientists have found a new virus thought to be the biggest ever seen on Earth. 

The virus, dubbed Pandoravirus, is one micrometre big - up to ten times the size of other viruses - and only six per cent of its genes resemble anything seen on Earth before. 

This has led French researchers to believe the virus may have come from an ancient time or even another planet, such as Mars.The giant virus is only found underwater and is not thought to pose a serious risk to humans.

However, the researchers, who published their findings in the journal Science, believe that the virus opens up a range of questions about the history of life on Earth.

Dr Jean-Michel Claverie of Aix-Marseille University in France, who found the virus, told NPR: ‘We believe that these new Pandoraviruses have emerged from a new ancestral cellular type that no longer exists.’

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