Researchers Discover Many Unknown Viruses in Raw Sewage

Posted on October 7, 2011


Researchers from the University of Michigan and Spain are excited about their discovery of unknown viruses in raw sewage. The L.A. Times reports that the researchers have been exploring sewage from several cities, including Pittsburgh, Barcelona and Addis Ababa.

So far the researchers have found 234 known viruses, including the human papillomavirus and the horrible, dreaded norovirus (pictured above), which causes humans to endure both diarrhea and vomiting simultaneously. The vast majority of the viruses the researchers found do match any known viruses. The researchers plan to expand their research beyond sewage to other environments where they expect to find many more unknown viruses.

The researchers published their researchers in mBio. The researchers say their findings indicate that the viral universe is "far more vast and diverse than previously suspected."

Photo: CDC

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