This "vampire virus" does not make infected people become white and thin, and become a vampire of eternal youth, but it means that it will bite the "neck" of other viruses like vampires…
A team of researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, looked at soil samples from both places under a microscope and found "vampire viruses," strains of bacteriophages that suck up other soilborne viruses. The point of attachment is the "neck" of the soon-borne virus, where the virus's protein capsid (capsid) connects to the tail of the virus.
The team studied a sample of a satellite phage (a virus that infects bacterial cells) named MiniFlayer, and also included a Streptomyces (helper virus) found in soil named MindFlayer.
Most satellite viruses have a gene that integrates into the genetic material of the host cell to ensure that they can replicate in the future. The study found that MiniFlayer satellite phage lacked this integration gene and could not directly integrate into the host DNA, but relied on the assistance of helper virus MindFlayer throughout the life cycle to enter the host cell for survival and replication. When the host cell divides, it copies both its own DNA and that of the satellite virus.
Experiments showed that 80 percent of its samples (40 out of 50) had a satellite virus on the "neck" of the helper virus.
Ivan Erill, a professor of biological sciences at USBC, said more observations showed that MiniFlayer and MindFlayer coevolved over time. "This satellite virus has been tweaking and optimizing its genome to associate with helper viruses for, I think, at least 100 million years," Ariel said.
The research team notes that this "vampire virus" may cause the host virus to enter a dormant state. "Vampire viruses" can kill viruses that infect crops and livestock, and may also kill "good viruses" that have significant benefits for the soil.