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(Two part series by Osamu Makino)
Dr. James Marcus was the discoverer of the "Progenitor Virus".
A researcher for a Swiss university, Marcus discovered a curious virus while researching extinct Paleozoic microbes. Failing to secure funding, he was sidelined to other projects. When a scandal emerged regarding falsified test results, Marcus lost considerable funding. The university allowed him to restart his research into the virus, but he was to provide his own funding.
Out of money, Marcus turned to his friend Ozwald E. Spencer, a nobleman. He was provided with Spencer's castle to work in with Spencer Foundation investment on the grounds that he leave the university and live in the castle to prevent their research being leaked. Agreeing, Marcus' research was supported by a third researcher, nobleman Edward Ashford.
The focus of Marcus' initial research for the Spencer Foundation was agricultural microbes, which took several years to complete. He later presented to Ashford the results, in which an electron microscope showed that exposure to 0.1ppm Chlorine could kill the E. coli bacteria. Continuing, he showed his second research project by injecting the Ur-Virus into the dead bacteria, reviving them and promoting further reproduction. Repeating the Miller Experiment which replicated the atmosphere of Earth 3.8 billion years ago through water; Hydrogen; Ammonia and Methane, Marcus added in Chlorine and his Ur-Virus. The results were far greater than Miller's findings; whereas Miller created primitive amino acids, Marcus created an organism with a cell membrane. Approaching Spencer with these findings, the three founded the Umbrella Corporation.