Researchers Revive 50,000 year old “ZOMBIE VIRUS” From the Permafrost in Siberia
Researchers from the French National Centre for Scientific Research have revived more than a dozen prehistoric viruses that were previously trapped deep within the Siberian permafrost, according to a pre-print study.
From seven ancient permafrost samples, scientists were able to document 13 never-before-seen viruses that have been lying dormant, frozen in ice, over tens of thousands of years.
In 2014, the same researchers unearthed a 30,000-year-old virus trapped in permafrost, the BBC reported. The discovery was groundbreaking because after all that time, the virus was still able to infect organisms. But now, they’ve beaten their own record by reviving a virus that is 48,500 years old.
The ancient virus was given the name Pandoravirus yedoma, which acknowledges its size and the type of permafrost soil that it was found in,
Scientists are thawing out these ancient viruses in order to assess their impacts on public health. As the permafrost, or permanently frozen ground, melts in the Northern Hemisphere, the thawing ice releases tons of trapped chemicals and microbes.
“Due to climate warming, irreversibly thawing permafrost is releasing organic matter frozen for up to a million years, most of which decomposes into carbon dioxide and methane, further enhancing the greenhouse effect,”
“Part of this organic matter also consists of revived cellular microbes (prokaryotes, unicellular eukaryotes) as well as viruses that remained dormant since prehistorical times.”The study’s authors wrote
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From Global News