The white flower-like objects are Mimiviruses

An image of an amoeba infected with mimiviruses

Every family of a certain size seems to have “that” side of which they don’t speak, you know, “those” people. The familial rift could have been caused by a disagreement over a spousal choice, a series of unforgivable holiday faux pas, or even cheering for the wrong football team. Now it seems biologists may have inadvertently given the expansive family of life itself a taboo relative – viruses. Viruses may just be life’s equivalent of Aunt Betty, whom your mom didn’t tell you about until you were 18.

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