Scientists have found the first known microbes that can eat only viruses

New Year, new viral diet — literally.

Tiny, pond-dwelling Halteria ciliates are virovores, able to survive on a virus-only diet, researchers report December 27 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The single-celled creatures are the first known to thrive when viruses alone are on the menu.

Scientists already knew that some microscopic organisms snack on aquatic viruses such as chloroviruses, which infect and kill algae. But it was unclear whether viruses alone could provide enough nutrients for an organism to grow and reproduce, says ecologist John DeLong of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Science News headlines, in your inbox

Headlines and summaries of the latest Science News articles, delivered

→ Continue reading at Science News

More from author

Related posts


Latest posts

This Is the Biggest Lie People Put on Their Resume

Do you ever find yourself fudging the truth on your resume?You're not surveyed 1,250 Americans about what they've lied about when looking for...

Chinese researchers are making claims that, if true, would threaten national security

Chinese researchers are claiming they can break modern encryption with today's quantum computers. Experts are skeptical, but the possibility remains a top U.S....

Letters: Less for more | YIMBY win | Revere water | Facial recognition | Backpack issue

Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. VTA puts ‘more for less’mantra on its head In...