Researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered Over 100,000 unknown virus typesWhich is nine times the number of these RNA-like organisms identified by science.
Researchers have also succeeded Specify which creatures they are likely to attackIt is therefore hoped that this discovery could help in the development of antimicrobial drugs and protection against fungi and parasites harmful to agriculture, Tel Aviv University explained in a statement.
The study was led by doctoral student Uri Neri under the direction of Professor Uri Gofna of Tel Aviv University’s Shamunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research.
The research was carried out in collaboration with the research centers of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Joint Genome Institute (JGI), both from the US, and the Pasteur Institute from France.
Viruses are genetic parasites that need to infect a living cell in order to replicate their genetic information, produce new viruses, and complete their infection cycle., Some viruses cause disease (such as the coronavirus), but most are not harmful and even live inside our bodies without us even knowing it.
Neri says the study used new computing techniques to extract genetic information collected from thousands of different sampling points around the world, such as oceans, soil, or sewage. Researchers have developed a sophisticated computational tool that differentiates between RNA viruses and the genetic material of hosts.
This discovery allowed the researchers to reconstruct how viruses went through different adaptation processes during their evolutionary development to adapt to different hosts.
By analyzing their findings, the researchers were able to identify suspected viruses infecting various pathogenic microorganisms, opening up the possibility of using viruses to control them.
“The system we developed makes it possible to perform in-depth evolutionary analysis and understand how different RNA viruses have evolved throughout evolutionary history. One of the major questions in microbiology is how and why viruses transfer genes between them.”Professor Gofna said.
“Compared to DNA viruses, the diversity and functions of RNA viruses in microbial ecosystems are not well understood. In our study, We found that RNA viruses are neither uncommon nor distinct from DNA viruses in the evolutionary landscape, This opens the door for future research and a better understanding of how viruses can be harnessed for use in medicine and agriculture,” he said.