After China’s Coronavirus, Brazil’s mysterious Yaravirus baffles scientists!

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Published: February 13, 2020 5:01:19 PM

Named after the Brazilian mythological water queen Lara, the virus refuses to get bracketed in any category of evolutionary groups of amoebal viruses, according to the research paper.

The virus which is considerably larger than other viruses with 80-nm sized particles was found in an artificial lake called Pampulha in Brazil.

Even as we talk now, the havoc wreaked by novel Coronavirus seems relentless with more than 1000 casualties reported in China and world’s economy getting insidiously affected by the virus scare. Another mysterious virus named Yaravirus has been traced in Brazil, which is challenging the well-established facts and hundreds of years of development research on viruses, Science Alert reported.

Every school kid who even had a fleeting interest in science would know how the virus is defined. A misfit in the binary of living and non-living beings, the virus was defined as a microorganism which is harmless, inert or even dead outside the body of a living organism and something which gets transformed into a hyper-active living being inside a living agent which it thrives on.

Yaravirus, which has been found in the seminal research paper of Bernard LaScola and Jonatas S Abrahao in Brazil, possesses the ability to synthesise proteins, repair its DNA and multiply in numbers all outside a living body. About 90 per cent of the genes of the virus have been defined as ‘orphan genes’ which do not bear any resemblance with over 8500 publicly available metagenomes, the research explains. Only six genes of the virus have been found to possess some common characteristics of viral genes documented in public scientific databases.

Named after the Brazilian mythological water queen Lara, the virus refuses to get bracketed in any category of evolutionary groups of amoebal viruses, according to the research paper. The virus which is considerably larger than other viruses with 80-nm sized particles was found in an artificial lake called Pampulha in Brazil.

The virus, which has not manifested in the form of any disease so far, definitely has the potential to alter the decades-old scientific conclusions reached by painstaking research of scientists and also points at immense possibilities to fill the lacunas in the research on viruses. Scola and Abrahao are striking the right cords when they say that there remains an awful lot to learn in the field of viruses.

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