Recently, the American Academy of Microbiology released a new report, Viruses Throughout Life & Time: Friends, Foes, Change Agents that delves into the origin of viruses, the overlooked biological and microbial ecological role of viruses, and how these live forms have contributed to evolution. The various functions of viruses are due to their incredible genomic flexibility, referred to as “viral dark matter,” another topic discussed at the colloquium. The inspiration for holding this meeting was that recent metagenomics studies of viruses have indicated we know very little about the real world of viruses. Nearly all published research is about the viruses that cause disease in humans, plants, and animals which only represents a minute fraction of the viruses that actually exist. The report is available for free at: http://bit.ly/1ry43A5.