Scientists estimate that mammals can be infected with more than 300 thousand virus species! All organisms need energy, but simple microorganisms like viruses cannot produce their own energy. Instead, viruses survive by redirecting energy from a host organism to their own benefit. Normally, viruses survive by infecting cells and forcing them to produce more viruses.
However, we have discovered a new class of viruses that redirect energy in a unique and fascinating way! These viruses are able to trick their host organism by producing their own version of insulin, called “viral insulin”. This viral insulin is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing because the host organism cannot tell the difference between its own insulin and the viral insulin.