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Scientists launch plan against alien virus
It is believed that the first extraterrestrial life form that we may one day find will be bacterial or microbial. An interesting new article by Gizmodo, however, analyzes the possibility that the first, very simple and basic form of life that we may one day find may be non-cellular, that is, of viruses, a possibility that not many astrobiologists have ever considered.
And wrong, according to the author of the article, viruses are the most widespread form of life on Earth, with thousands of species recognized but with millions existing and never recognized, and never observed under the microscope. Therefore, it is worth considering the possibility that one day we may encounter extraterrestrial viruses on other worlds, exoplanets or exolons, as well as asteroids of various types.
These organisms, in fact, just like on Earth, could adapt to virtually any environment.
The idea came from a new study published in Astrobiology, produced by Kenneth Stedman of Portland State University. According to this study, astrobiologists should seriously consider the possibility that viruses or very basic non-cellular life forms may even exist en masse throughout the universe. In this sense, the same scientist proposes a new discipline, astrology, and hopes that appropriate scientific instruments will be developed for the detection of exotic viruses.
Although the difference between viruses and other forms of microbial life is not well defined even today, viruses can be considered living entities whose genomes, composed more of nucleic acid, replicate within living cells by literally reprogramming the latter.
This leads to the question: if viruses need a host element to live, in the case of Earth other living cells, what is the point of looking for a living being whose existence underlies the existence of another living being? In this sense, things could change: viruses as we know them on Earth could adapt to’host’ elements of a non-biological nature and could replicate, for example, in environments such as soil or water, such as seed.