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Apr 9, 2022

Over 5,000 Previously Unknown Viruses Have Been Discovered Lurking in The Oceans

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

An analysis of the genetic material in the ocean has identified thousands of previously unknown RNA viruses and doubled the number of phyla, or biological groups, of viruses thought to exist, according to a new study our team of researchers has published in the journal Science.

RNA viruses are best known for the diseases they cause in people, ranging from the common cold to COVID-19. They also infect plants and animals important to people.

These viruses carry their genetic information in RNA, rather than DNA. RNA viruses evolve at much quicker rates than DNA viruses do. While scientists have cataloged hundreds of thousands of DNA viruses in their natural ecosystems, RNA viruses have been relatively unstudied.

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