December 7, 2011 21:30
Recently, American scientists who studied the sea near the famous Bermuda Triangle have found another anomaly. They found that the surface water in this area is literally full of a wide range of viruses. However, viruses do not pose any danger to humans, as they are only interested in oceanic bacteria.
The very phrase "Bermuda Triangle" is a relatively new — it was invented by a fan of spiritualism and esoteric Vincent Gaddis (Vincent Gaddis) in 1964. Speaking about it, Vincent had in mind a region located between the island of Puerto Rico, the Florida coast and Bermuda. According to the famous mystic of the last century, the area was the Atlantic became notorious because of hundreds of ships and aircraft disappeared there. Some ships, however, were later found, but without the crew and passengers.
All this has led to the fact that Geddis suggested the presence of some anomalies in the area. However, it was not the first to talk about it. In 1950, the American journalist Alexander Jones wrote an article about the mysterious disappearance of ships in the region (which he calls simply and tastefully — Sea Devil). However, the Bermuda Triangle has become genuinely popular in 1974, when Charles Berlitz (Charles Berlitz), popularizer of science, published a book of the same name, in which he described the various mysterious disappearances in the region. The book immediately became a bestseller, and the mysterious and dangerous Sea Devil became known around the world. After that, different groups of scientists have been searching for reasons that would explain these disappearances.
However, over time, skeptics have won over fans of mysticism. In this part of the ocean have found no abnormalities, more than that, it was noted that the disappearance of ships in the area of the Bermuda Triangle occurred no more frequently than in other areas of the world ocean, and most of disappearance was caused by storms. Picky journalists analyzed the Berlitz book and found out that most of the facts presented by the writer, was not entirely correct, and some have been fiction.
In the 1990s, interest in the Bermuda triangle came to naught. However, in recent years, scientists got interested in this area because there found a new anomaly, which, thankfully, has nothing to do with the disappearance of ships and aircraft.
A team of U.S. scientists led by Professor Craig Carlson (Craig Carlson) conducted oceanographic research in the north-western part of the Sargasso Sea in a decade. Interestingly, in a recent report suggests that the most numerous organisms that live in the surface waters of the ocean, viruses.
Curiously, the dynamics of the activity of these microscopic organisms is directly related to the seasons. In the summer they multiply actively, in a drop of water containing up to ten million. In winter, the surface waters are practically no, they seem to go in depth. The researchers analyzed the DNA of viruses and found that 90 percent of them are still unknown to science. However, these organisms, both known and unknown, are not dangerous to humans. They all belong to a group of bacteriophages, ie the objects of their attacks — are bacteria that live in the ocean. Bacteriophages are known to a very "old-fashioned and conservative," since they do not change their habits and do not attack other creatures.
In order to be able to reproduce bacteriophages await unsuspecting bacteria. They are attached to their cell walls, and are integrated into the DNA of the victim. This causes bacteria to forget their "duty" and concentrate on what is needed for the creation of new viruses. All viruses are produced inside the bacterial cell, the number of "newborn" bacteriophage reaches several million, they go out of the host cell, effectively killing it, and then go in search of new victims.
Organic molecules of dead bacteria is all around them, as well as bacteriophages kill hundreds of thousands of cells, it is not surprising that the surface of the sea in this place turns into a nutrient broth. Other bacteria eat in a hurry and are fast becoming the new victims of clever viruses. This means that bacteriophages form microscopic ecosystems.
Other sea creatures, unicellular and multicellular organisms plankton also enjoy the fruits of their labor. Some of them are involved in "free" broth, others — bacteria. It turns out that viruses create a kind of "cafe" in the surface waters of the sea. Even whales and dolphins swim up here to eat (they, in turn, are interested in packs of krill feeding microplankton, as well as fish, krill-eating).
Scientists were amazed by what they saw, because they were not aware of that the role of viruses in the formation of oceanic ecosystems. According to many oceanographers, ocean viruses are poorly understood, because they have always been hard to catch. But now it is clear that the number innumerable in all the seas and oceans.
"Despite the fact that we can not see them with the naked eye, the virus — is the dominant form of life in the ocean. They make up 95 percent of the total biomass of the ocean. There is a lot of viruses, even more than the mass of krill, fish and larger animals, such as whales, combined. Given the rate of viral replication and the number, it is clear the importance of their role in nutrient cycling in the world "- says one of the study authors