200,000 New Marine Viruses, Discovered In The Ocean

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According to the latest reports, it looks like almost 200k new virus species are lurking in the depths of the oceans.

This exciting new finding has been made during a pole to pole expedition that was carried out to survey marine life.

The finding has been said to be crucial because most research that has been carried out before it only discovered 15,000 species of viruses in the ocean.

Learning more about the evolution of life on the planet

According to expert opinions, the new finding could help humans learn more about the evolution of life on this planet, and it would also reveal more details about the potential consequences of climate change.

Scientists concluded this after they had analyzed samples that have been collected between 2009 and 2013 by a crew on board Tara, a vessel that conducted exploration in oceans for a lot of time.

“Viruses are these tiny things that you can’t even see, but because they’re present in such huge numbers, they really matter. We’ve developed a distribution map that is foundational for anyone who wants to study how viruses manipulate the ecosystem. There were many things that surprised us about our findings,” according to Matthew Sullivan, a microbiologist at the Ohio State University, as Eurekalert.org reports.

The Arctic ocean is filled with biodiversity 

Following this discovery, researchers split the viruses into five ecological zones.

The Arctic ocean where scientists did not expect such biodiversity turned out to be the hotspot of life as Ibtimes puts it. This shows the fact that oceans are mysterious worlds which need lots of future analysis.

“Having a new map of where these viruses are located can help us understand this ocean carbon ‘pump’ and, more broadly, biogeochemistry that impacts the planet. Previous ocean ecosystem models have commonly ignored microbes, and rarely included viruses, but we now know they are a vital component to include,” said Sullivan.

These new findings were published in Journal Cell.


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