viruses

Are viruses alive? Giant discovery suggests they’re more like zombies

Are viruses alive? Giant discovery suggests they’re more like zombies

What the hell is that? Scientists ask this question every day when trying to work out how different living things are related to each other. The answers aren’t easy or trivial. Biological affiliations are used not just to build a catalogue of life but also to understand how life has evolved into its many forms.

First ‘animal cells’ could have been created by viruses

First ‘animal cells’ could have been created by viruses

When a virus infects a living cell, it hijacks and reprograms the cell to turn it into a virus-producing factory. Now scientists at the University of California have for the first time discovered just how extensive that reprogramming can be, effectively turning bacterial cells into animal or plant-like cells. This might even be how the cells of more complex organisms evolved in the first place.