Discovering hidden lifeforms within the human body
Scientists, while exploring the surfaces of distant planets in search of life, are also making remarkable discoveries much closer to home within the human body.
Recent research has unveiled the existence of an entire lifeform previously unknown to the scientific community, residing inside humans. These discoveries center on virus-like genetic materials known as Obelisks.
Researchers, including Stanford University biologist Ivan Zheludev, have identified these previously unnoticed entities, which exhibit unique genetic makeup distinct from other biological agents. Their findings, published on bioRxiv, suggest that Obelisks may bridge the gap between simple genetic molecules and viruses. In their paper, the authors assert, "Obelisks comprise a class of diverse RNAs that have colonized, and gone unnoticed in human, and global microbiomes.”
The minuscule size of Obelisks likely contributed to their elusiveness. Their genetic sequences consist of only around 1,000 characters, even on a microscopic scale.
Examining 5.4 million datasets of genetic sequences, the study revealed that Obelisks appeared in half of the patients’ oral samples, indicating their potential presence throughout various regions of the human body.
"This supports the notion that Obelisks might include colonists of said human microbiomes," the study notes. These findings underscore the continuous revelations about the complexities of the human body. They follow closely on the heels of scientists' discovery of a peculiar recurring mathematical pattern within our body’s cells.