French researchers think they’ve found a giant virus big enough to house its own virus-killing devices using a system like CRISPR, and it could be a completely new form of life.
Called a mimivirus, it was first found growing in amoebae in a water tower. At four times the size of a typical virus, you can even see it under a light microscope
When the mimivirus encounters another virus, it stores some of the invader’s genetic material. That way, when it encounters the same kind of virus again, the MIMIVIRE system goes into gene-editing berserker mode, finding the key genes of the virus and cutting them to inert oblivion. This could have major applications.