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Latino Daily News

Tuesday October 11, 2011

World’s Largest Megavirus Found in Chilean Coasts

World’s Largest Megavirus Found in Chilean Coasts

Photo: Megavirus

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The “Megavirus chilensis,” is between 10 and 20 times bigger than the largest Megavirus ever documented, was found in Chile’s Pacific Ocean.

The particle is about 0.7 micrometers (thousand of a millimeter) in diameter, larger than some bacteria; it is so large, that it can easily be observed using any microscope.

Viruses cannot reproduce alone; they need to invade a host cell if they want to multiply.

DNA test results show the Chilean Megavirus has more than a thousand genes,  loaded with the biochemical map to build the systems that it needs to reproduce inside its host.

Lab tests on fresh water amoebas showed that Megavirus constructs large trojan organelles -“cells within cells” in order to produce new viruses to infect other amoebas.

The previous record holder, Mimivirus, was found in a water cooling tower in the UK in 1992.