I want to flop its ears!

Or… ‘cowlicks’… whatever…

The French have found yet another HUGE virus, this one even bigger than the previous hugeliest Mimiviruses (random link: Mimis virophage)!

This one?

They call him MEGAVIRUS!

Distant Mimivirus relative with a larger genome highlights the fundamental features of Megaviridae

1,259,197 bp genome (Mimi has 1,181,549. HIV-1 about 10,000).

1,120 protein coding genes (Mimi has 979. HIV-1 has 9).

Beyond this, youll have to go to Carls place to actually learn some science about Megavirus.

I know there is some really cool evolutionary biology in this paper, but right now I just want to snuggle with the little ooga booga!


  1. #1 hibob
    October 11, 2011

    There’s an XKCD for every occasion:
    Virus Aquarium

  2. #2 Etacol
    October 11, 2011

    Is there anything wrong with me if I find this cute? Ah.. I shouldn’t give a damn.. This thing just screams “hug me!”.

  3. #3 JustaTech
    October 11, 2011

    What would the Giant Microbe version of this look like, a beanbag chair?! It’s so fuzzy!

  4. #4 Joshua Zelinsky
    October 11, 2011

    Wee! Cutesy wutesy virus.

    Next step: Someone needs to make lolvirus pictures with captions.

  5. #5 Mu
    October 11, 2011

    1,200 coded proteins and still no cell wall? Talk about an evolutionary dead end.

  6. #6 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2011

    I think it is some kind of miniature tribble.

  7. #7 mary (abbie's ilk)
    October 11, 2011

    I thought is was a pic of an ostomy..so I’m not finding it cute!

  8. #8 EvilYeti
    October 11, 2011

    #1, I study (amongst other things) computer viruses.

    The organic ones are many orders of magnitude more complex. And I’ve often wondered whether this is an argument for or against Intelligent Design.

  9. #9 Justicar
    October 11, 2011

    Having carefully studied the attendant picture, referred to several reference publications and consulted an oracle, I have been vouchsafed the conclusion that this little ooga booga is in fact a her.

  10. #10 EvilYeti
    October 11, 2011

    It was discovered inside an amoeba, not a kitchen.


    Looks more like a 20 sided die with a neckbeard, I’d say.

  11. #11 Paul Burnett
    October 11, 2011

    Those aren’t fuzzy cowlicks – those are intelligently designed flagella! (/snark)

  12. #12 Camaro
    October 12, 2011

    “I want to flop its ears!”

    … sounds cute ­čÖé never thought that could be possible related to viruses.

  13. #13 Prometheus
    October 12, 2011


    Yes, it is a cute virus! Of course, if you’re an amoeba….maybe not so cute.

    This class of viruses not only take the prize for bulk, they have genes that aren’t thought to be associated with viruses (e.g. aminoacyl tRNA synthetase). No ribosomal RNA or protein genes, so it doesn’t violate the REO/CEO dichotomy…yet.

    These viruses can be seen under a light microscope and they make obvious clusters inside their Acanthamoeba hosts.

    They look so plushy and soft, I don’t think it will be long before someone makes a stuffed toy version – if they haven’t already.


  14. #14 Dave Briggs
    October 13, 2011

    They look so plushy and soft, I don’t think it will be long before someone makes a stuffed toy version – if they haven’t already.Prometheus

    Ya, remember the tickle me Elmo rage? This could be the replacement for the 2011 Christmas season! It does look cute and cuddly, and like it would grow on you. LOL! Anyone here own a stuffed toy factory? Dave Briggs :~)

  15. #15 Justicar
    October 13, 2011

    I can’t remember offhand where, but in one of the posts on my blog is a link that someone gave me at one of Abbie’s old posts to a company that sells plush pathogens. They’re adorable.

    That totally started off sounding like an inbred trailer park story. (no offense to Greg Laden).

  16. #16 Corkscrew
    October 13, 2011

    Justicar: http://www.giantmicrobes.com/

    Of course, for this baby they’ll have to make a frickin’ beanbag.

  17. #17 megan
    October 14, 2011

    Like I’ve said elsewhere.

  18. #18 herr doktor bimler
    October 14, 2011
  19. #19 fnxtr
    October 17, 2011

    I thought Megavirus was destroyed by Mothra.

  20. #20 IW
    November 2, 2011

    “They call him MEGAVIRUS!”

    How do you know it’s a ‘him’?

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