These days we have talked so much about viruses. More than ever before. Exactly in the middle of endless discussions about Corona-virus, some news arrives from Brazil. Scientists have documented a novel virus in January. They named it Yaravirus, as per the name of Yara, the mermaid of a local legend that leads sailors toward death. They unexpectedly came across to the virus at Lake Pampulha, an artificial lake in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte.
What researchers found about Yaravirus?
The new virus has left scientists 'puzzled' because it doesn't appear to be related to any other viruses in the world.
Over 90% of Yaravirus genes have never been seen before, making it wholly unique. Out of 74 genes in total, only six of those had been recorded in literature before. The rest of the 68 genes have never been seen before, known as orphan genes.
Yaravirus was taken from a single-celled creature called amoeba, which live in damp environments. The scientists speculate Yaravirus is the first isolated case of an unknown group of an amoebal virus.
What is important to know is that for now, Yaravirus doesn't appear to pose any threat to humans. For a start, it cannot transfer to humans - but only between amoeba.
However, scientists are working to better understand the virus in order to specify what kind of effects it has to amoebas and other species.
Better worry about Coronavirus
So, the only important virus you might be thinking about right now is COVID-19 (the official name of coronavirus by WHO). With a developing ability to spread very quickly from human-to-human, Hong Kong scientists believe coronavirus has the potential to reach up to 50% of the world population. Let's hope this will not be the case and that the same scientists will be able to create an effective vaccine to protect the world population.
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