25 Interesting Facts about Bacteria and Virus – Part 2

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1AIDS virus

AIDS virus

Scientists have been able to track the history of the AIDS virus. Through research, they believe 'patient zero' lived Cameroon in Africa, and contracted the disease around 1908, after hunting a chimp and being infected with SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus).

2. Bacteria are becoming more tolerant of hand sanitizers, but regular hand washing with soap is the best solution. It is the physical action of lifting and moving them off your skin, and letting them run down the drain which they can’t become more tolerant to.

3. The SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus is so infectious that one man in Hong Kong infected 183 people in 8 apartment buildings with one horrific bowel movement, causing a plume of aerosolized feces to circulate through the ventilation system and outside on the wind.

4. Gut bacteria could very well be manipulating our minds to cause cravings for certain foods they need in order to stay fit such as lipids and sugars.

5. 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.

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6Horse pox virus

Horse 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

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

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11Yersinia pestis

Yersinia 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

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

15. The Shope papillomavirus is a virus that can cause rabbits to grow "horns" on their head. This may have led to the myth of the jackalope.

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16Wolbachia bacteria

Wolbachia bacteria

The Wolbachia bacteria can only transmit through female insects. It eliminates males by killing them or turning them female and enables host females to reproduce without males.

17. Myxobacteria are social bacteria that move and feed in predatory groups. Able to move individually or in large swarms, their method of predation is traditionally called "wolf-pack attack."

18. The influenza virus that killed 50–100 million people worldwide in 1918 was genetically reconstructed from tissue samples in 2005. The virus is currently held at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

19. A species of baculovirus infects gypsy moth caterpillars and essentially turns them into zombies. The virus then forces these Zombie caterpillars to climb to the treetops to die, liquefy and rain on the foliage below to infect others.

20. The 1968 Pandemic H3N2 virus, commonly referred to as the Hong Kong Flu Virus was an extremely contagious virus with a low fatality rate that originated in China and was widespread in the United States about five months later. It struck in two waves, with the second being more deadly.

21Anthrax virus

Anthrax virus

In 2016, a strain of Anthrax virus which had been trapped in a reindeer carcass frozen in permafrost for over 75 years in a remote corner of Siberian tundra, thawed and infected around 2000 reindeers and ended up infecting over 20 humans.

22. Viruses aren't living beings like bacteria, but rather they behave more like androids that hijack living cells and then replicate. This is why antibiotics don't work with viruses as they do with bacteria. It’s hard to kill something that isn’t quite alive, to begin with.

23. There exists a virus named Borna disease virus capable of infecting humans, transmittable via saliva, causing among other things aggression, anxiety, hyperactivity, decreased level of consciousness, and abnormal movement.

24. The Herpes virus lives deep in your nervous system, traveling to the site of sores inside your nerves to re-infect the area.

25. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is so fragile it cannot survive outside a host for long and cannot penetrate unbroken skin.

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