Scientists revive 48,500-year-old ‘Zombie Virus’ buried in ice

Scientists revive 48,500-year-old 'Zombie Virus' buried in ice

Researchers say the respawn ability of a virus that can infect animals and humans. (Represent)

According to researchers who have revived nearly two dozen viruses β€” including one that froze in a lake more than 48,500 years ago, the thawing of ancient permafrost caused by climate change could pose a threat. new threat to humans.

European researchers examined ancient samples collected from permafrost in the Siberian region of Russia. They resurrected and characterized 13 new pathogens, what they called “zombie viruses”, and found that they were still infectious despite having spent millennia trapped in the virus. frozen ground.

Scientists have long warned that the thawing of permafrost due to atmospheric warming will exacerbate climate change by releasing previously trapped greenhouse gases such as greenhouse gases. methane gas. But its effect on dormant pathogens is still poorly understood.

The team of researchers from Russia, Germany and France say the biological risk of reviving the viruses they study is “totally negligible” due to the strains they target, mainly strains capable of infecting amoeba bacteria. They say the resurgence of a virus that can infect animals or humans is more problematic, and warn that their work can be extrapolated to prove the danger is real.

β€œIt is therefore possible that the ancient permafrost would release these unknown viruses upon thawing,” they wrote in a paper published in the unreviewed bioRxiv preprint archive. “How long these viruses can be infectious after exposure to outdoor conditions, and how long it takes for them to meet and infect a suitable host during that time cannot be estimated.”

But the risks will certainly increase as global warming as permafrost thaw will continue to accelerate and more people will move to the North Pole after industrial projects, they said.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from an aggregated feed.)

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