Viral Discovery: Microscopic ‘Vampires’ – Satellite Viruses Cling to Helper Viruses

In a groundbreaking revelation, researchers from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) have unveiled a previously unseen phenomenon in the world of viruses. Satellite viruses, a type of mobile genetic element, have been observed attaching themselves to helper viruses as they invade bacterial cells. This unique parasitic relationship challenges our understanding of viral behavior. Unlike typical viruses, these satellite nucleic acid sequences lack essential components for replication and rely on helper viruses to manufacture their machinery. This discovery sheds new light on the intricate dynamics of these microscopic ‘vampires’ and how they ensure their survival and propagation within host cells.



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