A new virus has been found in the Mariana Trench, and scientists are keeping a close eye on further research to keep apprised of further pandemic fears.
Gizmodo is reporting that the virus, known solely as vB_HmeY_H4907, was found 8,900 meters below the surface of the ocean.
This virus is part of a family of viruses known as Suviridae, which live exclusively in the oceans.
It’s also considered a bacteriophage, which means that it eats bacteria — but this isn’t necessarily a good thing.
“To our best knowledge, this is the deepest known isolated phage in the global ocean,” said study author Min Wang, a virologist at the Ocean University of China, in a statement from the American Society for Microbiology.
The question of how dangerous the virus is, however, remains to be seen.
For now, what’s been discovered is that the virus takes over the host organism and replicates at the same time.
It doesn’t kill the host, however.
There is some question as to whether viruses can be considered living organisms, because they only thrive when they attack or otherwise co-opt the host bodies.
However the researchers believe that this is just the first of many viruses they’ll find in the area.
What’s more, the does not doesn’t pose a threat to humans, as of current research.
“Extreme environments offer optimal prospects for unearthing novel viruses,” said Wang.