Navigation Links
Report on viruses looks beyond disease
Date:7/22/2014

In contrast to their negative reputation as disease causing agents, some viruses can perform crucial biological and evolutionary functions that help to shape the world we live in today, according to a new report by the American Academy of Microbiology.

"Viruses participate in essential Earth processes and influence all life forms on the planet, from contributing to biogeochemical cycles, shaping the atmospheric composition, and driving major speciation events," states Marilyn Roossinck of Pennsylvania State University, a member of the steering committee that helped to organize the colloquium.

The report, 'Viruses Throughout Life & Time: Friends, Foes, Change Agents,' is based on the deliberation of a group of scientific experts who gathered for two days in San Francisco, CA in July 2013 to answer a series of questions regarding the variety of roles that viruses play in the natural world.

"The inspiration for holding the colloquium was that recent metagenomics studies of viruses have indicated we know very little about the real world of viruses. Almost all published research is about the viruses that cause disease in humans and their domesticated plants and animals. This certainly represents only a very small fraction of the viruses that really exist," says Roossinck. "It is very important to understand the real world of viruses, as this can inform our basic understanding of life and its origins, as well as major earth phenomena like carbon cycling."

Beyond their pathogenic impact, the report examines in depth the size of the virosphere, the origin of viruses, the overlooked biological and microbial ecological role of viruses, and how these live forms have contributed to evolution. Additional highlights from the report explain how some viruses are commensal organisms or symbionts, their functioning in microbial communities, and their role in maintaining the biosphere. The array of responsibilities taken on by viruses is due to their incredible sequence diversity and genomic plasticity, referred to as "viral dark matter".

The report concludes by stimulating the readers to think about key questions: "What if viruses had never existed on Earth? Would life have evolved quite differently"? Continued viral research will help to answer these enticing questions.


'/>"/>
Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. APS issues new policy requiring identification of sex or gender in reporting scientific research
2. Report presents designs for study of cancer risks near US nuclear facilities
3. Researchers report potential for a moderate New England red tide in 2012
4. Aware, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2012 Financial Results
5. Radiologists study necessity of additional imaging recommendations in PET/CT oncologic reports
6. BGI reports the completed sequence of foxtail millet genome
7. Science reporters win ASM Public Communications Award
8. ACRG and BGI report findings from genomics research on recurrent hepatitis B virus integration
9. iView Systems iTrak® version 5.5 delivers optimized Incident Reporting
10. Report details efforts to improve, advance indoor microbial sampling
11. New report examines effects of trees killed by bark beetles on wildfire
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/29/2016)... BioDirection, a privately held medical device company developing novel ... concussion and other traumatic brain injury (TBI), announced today ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review ... meeting company representatives reviewed plans for clinical development of ... a planned pilot trial. "We are ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... , November 22, 2016 According to the new ... Palm Print, Face, Vein, Signature, Voice), Multi-Factor), Component (Hardware and Software), Function ... by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to grow from USD 10.74 Billion ... of 16.79% between 2016 and 2022. Continue ... ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... , Nov. 17, 2016  AIC announces that it has just released a new ... that require high-performance scale-out plus high speed data transfer storage solutions. Photo ... ... ... Setting up a high performance computing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... to an early access program for SmartBiome -- a novel metagenomic deep-sequencing ... simultaneous specific enrichment and detection of hundreds of different genes. The selective ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... , Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - SQI Diagnostics Inc. ("SQI" or ... results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended September 30, ... , , ... -based life sciences and diagnostics company that develops and commercializes ... Commercial Highlights Achieved revenues of $1.4 million more ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... Discovering new clues to natural treatments that ... what’s happening in our brains. And searching for keys to our immune systems by ... honored with the 2017 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards by The ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... ... ("GPP") portfolio company, today announced it has acquired the assets of Theorem ... Chiltern International and focuses on clinical trial drug packaging, labeling, storage, reconciliation, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: