New Delhi (Sputnik): Indian scientists have discovered Giant Viruses in water samples from Mumbai, reported India Science Wire, citing a study published by the scientific journal nature.com. The viruses, known as nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDVs), are non-disease causing viruses but are of great interest to the scientific community. The viruses were found in water samples from pre-filtered potable water and samples from waste-water treatment plants. Over 20 different GVs have been identified.
Spanning five years, the study was conducted by a group of researchers from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB). Over 20 types of new giant viruses were isolated by the scientists.
"There isn't enough evidence to suggest that they are directly linked to infections in humans," said Dr Anirvan, one of the scientists involved in the research, while speaking to India Science Wire.
"It is hypothesised that Giant Viruses hold the key to understanding the evolution of living organisms from simpler forms," the report reads.
Bandra megavirus (BMV) is so far the largest Giant Virus discovered in India. The BMW has a dimension of one nanometer, several times larger than other microorganisms. Some of the other newly discovered species include Powai lake Megavirus (PLMV), Mimivirus Bombay (MVB) and Kurlavirus (KUV), the report stated citing the study.
The study used Big Data analytical technology in collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark.