Friday, October 2, 2015

Wolbachia Milestone: "Video Game" Status

There are many reasons why Wolbachia bacteria are one of the most amazing microorganisms that you'll ever read about (and why scientists have studied them for almost a century now). For starters, they curiously dwell inside the cells of animal gonads (testes and ovaries) spanning insects to filarial worms. Second, they can change the gender or reproduction of those insects. Third, they can not only prevent mosquitoes from passing on dengue virus to humans, but they may also be a target for curing diseases such as lymphatic filariasis or river blindness. Fourth, they are one of the best cases of how infectious microorganisms can assist the origin of new species. 

Among many other astounding facts, Wolbachia have become so famed apparently in the popular news that they are also now featured in the video game series Metal Gear Solid 5. A friend pointed me to this sound track yesterday with the quote "can't escape it - Wolbachia are now making appearances in video games. Wolbachia in this game are used by the enemy to create a pathogen that kills people speaking only certain languages". 

The full video / sound track is here:

The two clips where Wolbachia are featured are:

and here:

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