A revolutionary discovery has shaken up our most basic assumptions about how viruses replicate.

There are some theories in biology which are widely accepted as truth. The refinement of our genomes through natural selection, for example, or the “central dogma” which dictates the multi-step processing of DNA instructions to functional protein. An example from virology is the basic understanding of how a virus – simply a selection of genes encased in a capsule – replicates inside its host. Or so we thought.