Team of Scientists, Inculding a Greek, Discover New Group of Giant Viruses

(AP Photo/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cynthia Goldsmith)

Scientists from the US and Austria, including a Greek microbiologist, discovered a group of giant viruses that they named “Klosneuviruses”.

The first giant virus, Mimivirus, was discovered in 2003 by a team of French microbiologists. Since then these micro-organisms that are considerably bigger that the common viruses deeply attract the scientists who in the meanwhile have found more groups of such viruses (Mamavirus, Megavirus and Pithovirus).

The study of the new mega-virus indicates that the giant viruses appear to have evolved from smaller viruses by gaining (or stealing), in their evolution course, hundreds of genes from other cells when the common viruses have only a few number of genes (HIV or AIDS virus has only nine genes when the Mimivirus 1,018 and the Klonsneuvirus approximately 700 genes).