July 19, 2013 | David

When I picture a virus, I think of a tiny cell-invading replicator machine. I don't think of cell-sized blobs cruising around ponds looking for amoebae to kill.

But scientists have found one a new type of virus that is the biggest in the world. Even though it doesn't have what it takes to count as an independent life form, it may force scientists to rethink the roots of the tree of life. Fortunately, the giant virus doesn't infect people!

This research was published in the 18 July issue of the journal Science.

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Only 7% of the genes in the huge virus have been seen before.

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Image: Flickr/Sanofi Pasteur

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