Warning: You may be being watched while reading this text. And no, it’s not your cell phone listening to everything you say or some other conspiracy theory, a new study suggests that viruses can track their hosts. Keep calm – so far only bacteriophages have been studied, viruses that only attack bacteria. But it seems that other viruses must be learning to spy as well.
The study, led by the University of Maryland in the United States, found that bacteriophage viruses can monitor the environment in which they live, and even develop a kind of “switch” to infect bacteria at a certain point in their lives. .
The researchers found that different bacteriophage viruses evolved a binding site for a particular protein from their host bacteria CtrA. this protein regulates the production of flagella, the only part of the bacterial cell that viruses can enter and cause infection.
Disturbing? Okay then. Only bacteriophage viruses, which require host cells to have flagella to infect themselves, have such a ‘key’, suggesting that these viruses decide whether to stay where they are or replicate and exit the host cell by monitoring the presence of the protein.
The team of scientists says that because this tracking is useful for viruses, the ability must be replicated by other viruses, such as those that infect humans. More work will need to be done to find out. But there is hope: This viral capacity can be used to our advantage.
According to the researchers, possibly by understanding the tracking mechanisms used by viruses, it will be possible to develop antiviral drugs that “cheat” them, causing them to not realize that the time has come to attack.
Matter: Boundaries in Microbiology – https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2022.918015.
Source: Tec Mundo
I am Bret Jackson, a professional journalist and author for Gadget Onus, where I specialize in writing about the gaming industry. With over 6 years of experience in my field, I have built up an extensive portfolio that ranges from reviews to interviews with top figures within the industry. My work has been featured on various news sites, providing readers with insightful analysis regarding the current state of gaming culture.