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View Full Version : [nid]I hear you like bio-weapons



El_Machinae
27-02-2014, 16:57
... so I put bio-weapons into your bio-weapons

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polydnavirus

These viruses are part of a unique biological system consisting of an endoparasitic wasp (parasitoid), an insect (usually lepidopteran) larva, and the virus. The full genome of the virus is integrated into the genome of the wasp and the virus only replicates in a particular part of the ovary, called the calyx, of pupal and adult female wasps. The virus is injected along with the wasp egg into the body cavity of a lepidopteran host caterpillar and infects cells of the caterpillar. The infection does not lead to replication of new viruses, rather it affects the caterpillar's immune system. Without the virus infection, phagocytic hemocytes (blood cells) will encapsulate and kill the wasp egg but the immune suppression caused by the virus allows for survival of the wasp egg, leading to hatching and complete development of the immature wasp in the caterpillar. Additionally, genes expressed from the polydnavirus in the parasitised host alter host development and metabolism to be beneficial for the growth and survival of the parasitoid larva. Thus the virus and wasp have a symbiotic (mutualistic) relationship.
Essentially, the virus only exists in the ovaries of the wasp. But, when the wasp lays an egg in the caterpillar, the viruses go along to infect and suppress the immune system of the caterpillar. Basically, a bio-weapon, akin to the 'nids guns, yeah?

Smooth Boy
27-02-2014, 23:43
Sounds quite cool, never underestimate nature/extragalactic nature. On a side note probably keeping a flamethrower under my pillow tonight... just in case...

Orchid
28-02-2014, 00:08
Real life has far more sinister organisms than anything the nids have