20 Things You Didn’t Knew About Bacteria & Viruses – Part 2

1Pandoraviruses

Scientists recently discovered giant viruses (as big as 1 μm in length), named Pandoraviruses. Because more than 93% of their genes resemble nothing known and their origin cannot be traced back to any known cellular lineage, scientists suggest the existence of the 4th domain of life.


2Horse pox virus

In 2017, Canadian scientists recreated an extinct horse pox virus to demonstrate that the smallpox virus can be recreated in a small lab at a cost of about $100,000, by a team of scientists without specialist knowledge.


3E-Coli bacteria

The dangerous strains of E-Coli Bacteria only came into existence in the early 70s, when, by a freak event of DNA sharing, an E-Coli Bacterium gained the gene to produce kidney and intestine destroying Shiga Toxins from a Shigella Bacterium, the bacteria that causes Dysentery.


4Giant virus

A giant virus has been discovered which has its own immune system. French scientists found that the defense mechanisms of these giant viruses work in a similar way to the CRISPR-Cas system, whereby the virus learns to recognize invaders, capture their genetic material, and use this information to destroy them.


5Bacillus pasteurii

Certain bacteria such as Bacillus pasteurii, Bacillus pseudofirmus, Bacillus cohnii, Sporosarcina pasteuri can be used to increase the strength of concrete by incorporating them into concrete mixture.


6Herpes virus

Dormant viruses can reactivate during spaceflight. Herpesviruses reactivate in more than half of the crew aboard Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions.


7Yersinia pestis

The Yersinia pestis bacteria is responsible for 3 plague pandemics in history, i.e., Plague of Justinian in the 6th century, the Black Death in the 14th century, and the Third Pandemic in the 19th and 20th century.


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8Pithovirus

The largest virus ever discovered had a size of up to 1.5 microns. The Pithovirus was found buried in Siberian permafrost. It was revived even though it was 30,000 years old and successfully infected cells raising fears that dangerous viruses could emerge from stasis as the climate warmed.


9Tobacco mosaic virus

The first virus discovered is the Tobacco mosaic virus, which was over 100 years ago. It causes a mosaic looking disease in tobacco plants. It can survive for years in cigars and cigarettes made from infected leaves. Wendell Stanley won the Nobel Prize in 1946 for discovering that it’s made from protein.


10Actinomyces Naeslundii

Actinomyces Naeslundii is a bacteria, which resides in the human mouth and is heavily linked to tooth decay and periodontal disease.

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