Viral genomes are unusual because they can be based on RNA or DNA, in contrast to all cellular life forms, which have DNA as their genetic information. An unusual new virus has been discovered that appears to have sequences from both an RNA and a DNA virus.
The new virus was identified during a study of viral diversity in an extreme environment, Boiling Spring Lake. You would never want to swim there (it is acidic (pH 2.5) and hot (52° − 95° C)). But the lake is not devoid of living things: it is inhabited by various bacteria, Archaea, and unicellular eukaryotes. Where there is life, there are viruses, which leads us to an expedition to determine what kinds of viruses can be found in Boiling Spring Lake.
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