While the term doesn’t officially exist yet, a group of American researchers have discovered two groups of microorganisms that are neither animals, nor plants, nor fungi – but neither are they simple bacteria. While they are not the first virus-eating organisms to have been identified, they are apparently able to survive and thrive exclusively by feeding on viral material. The researchers have been studying viruses from a different perspective: not as pathogenic biological entities, but rather, as basic nutrients in the life cycle. One of those researchers is Joshua Weitz, Professor and Tom and Marie Patton Chair in the School of Biological Sciences, Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Quantitative Biosciences, and Blaise Pascal International Chair of Excellence at the Ecole Normale Superieure.
Virivores, the organism can eat up to a million viruses a day