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Giant Newfound 'Medusa' Virus Turns Amoebas to 'Stone'

Named after the mythical monster Medusa, a newfound giant virus turns its host to "stone." However, luckily for us, its hosts are amoebas and not humans.

The virus infects single-celled organisms known as Acanthamoeba castellanii, a type of amoeba. When the researchers infected these amoebas in lab dishes, they found that the virus prompted the amoebas to develop a thick outer “shell” and enter a dormant state known as encystment.

Image Credit: G. Yoshikawa et al./J. Virol. 2019

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