Huge bacteria-eating viruses close gap between life and non-life

Scientists have discovered hundreds of unusually large, bacteria-killing viruses with capabilities normally associated with living organisms, blurring the line between living microbes and viral machines. These phages — short for bacteriophages, so-called because they “eat” bacteria — are of a size and complexity considered typical of life, carry numerous genes normally found in bacteria and … Read more

Safer viruses for vaccine research and diagnosis

A new technology to produce safer ‘hybrid’ viruses at high volumes for use in vaccines and diagnostics for mosquito-borne diseases has been developed at The University of Queensland. Researchers from UQ and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute have exploited the benign characteristics of the Binjari virus – inert to humans – to produce ‘dangerous looking’ … Read more