Check out this recent research finding, reported in New Scientist, about a further level of the infection game: virophages – viruses of viruses. And with it the entire beloved panoply of such findings:
1) the joy of finding yet another complication of the “infecting-infected” relationships. (Well, I find it joyful).
2) Tentative hints at possible practical uses in the future (good for human interest and especially for funding) tinged with the proper responsible-sounding caution (also very good for funding).
3) Acknowledgement that there are similar things – although not quite in the same category – already known (in this case “satellite viruses”).
4) a difference of opinion between experts regarding whether this is in fact a new category or just an extension of the old one.
And now we wait. This will either disappear into obscurity, or emerge as the hot new thing within the next five years and be common textbook knowledge within ten, or be found out to be a technical error or misinterpertation. My money’s on option 2. Takers?