Viruses helped Homo Sapiens become stronger as a species.
Throughout the history of mankind different viruses, from smallpox to the flu was responsible for millions of deaths worldwide. No wonder we perceive viruses as enemies. And some of them are: SARS, MERS, Ebola, HIV, swine flu, bird flu, and the Zeke virus are among the viruses that have caused deadly outbreaks in recent years. This list is long and growing. However, it is also true that the vast majority of viruses do not infect human or mammalian – many viruses may be useful for us, helping to improve health or saving them from other diseases. So is it worth to deal with them?
In everyday life is very easy to forget about germs, viruses and bacteria, but much of life is microscopic. And just like viruses, characteristic of mammals, infect the cells of animals, many viruses have evolved to succeed in infecting the bacterial cells. These viruses are called bacteriophages (or abbreviated to phage).
While bacteria are living organisms created from a single cell, a virus is a biological organism consisting of a bundle of genetic material wrapped in protein shell. The virus cannot exist in isolation, so it infects a host cell and hijacks its cellular mechanism – this allows the virus to make copies of itself. During the replication process it is attached to the cell surface and enters into her own genetic material, thus capturing it. It is important to understand that the principle is the same for human viruses and viruses of bacteria.
Scientists have studied bacteriophages for decades, watching as they spread through a population of bacteria first infecting and then bursting the infected cells. And Vice versa – as they co-exist with remarkable stability, often supporting a diverse community of bacterial species in environments such as open ocean or the gastrointestinal tract. They do this by preventing the growth of any bacteria, so it does not become dominant, just like predators keep the populations of their victims under control.
Phages under a microscope look like
As The Conversation, the more we understand the phages, the more we begin to view them as an important component of microbial ecosystems that support the diversity and functionality, rather than acting as a causative agent of disease. So, scientists know that a variety of microbiota – the community of microbes living in the gut, is associated with human health. This relationship includes the proper functioning of the immune system, nutrient absorption in the intestine, and even change mood and behaviour.
Phages play a key role in maintaining this diversity, and therefore at the level of the microbial ecosystem inside of us contribute to the well being of the person.
Hugh Harris, University College London
Today, when a growing number of dangerous bacteria are developing resistance to widely used antibiotics to combat the bacteria using phages is a promising strategy. Because antibiotics kill both pathogenic organisms and the beneficial bacteria, the researchers hope that in the future, phages can be used as «programmed the hunters» on bacteria.
The Viruses also can be used for . In a recent study rhesus monkeys and human immunodeficiency virus monkeys (SIV), scientists have discovered that another virus – cytomegalovirus – can be forced to produce the same proteins that VIO. This means that another virus may be used as a vaccine against the human immunodeficiency virus monkeys to teach the animal's immune system to deal effectively with VIO, not exposed to the harmful virus.
And upon closer inspection looks like the Ebola virus
This is important because immunodeficiency viruses have become experts at hiding from the immune system by mutating, which makes development a very difficult task for the body. Future research will have great importance for the treatment of HIV.
In many ways, the virus is as indifferent as the weather outside. Just as accurate a weather forecast can save someone's life, understanding the multifaceted nature of viruses in our world will ever be able to save you. In the end, it is the efficient development and use of vaccines nullified the disastrous consequences of the deadliest infections in history. Knowing how the virus spreads and how it works, also allows to inform public policy and to take the necessary security measures.
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