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Ancient virus resurrected from permafrost


Posted on Wednesday, 5 March, 2014 | Comment icon 31 comments


What lies frozen in the permafrost ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Hannes Grobe

A mysterious virus dating back 30,000 years has been discovered frozen in the Siberian permafrost.

Like something from the plot of an X-Files episode, scientists have been able to bring back to life a prehistoric virus that has managed to survive tens of thousands of years frozen in the ground.

While the newly revived virus is not believed to be harmful to anything other than single-celled organisms, concerns have been raised over whether other more deadly variants might one day be released as the planet warms up.

Of particular concern is the possibility that viruses that once plagued the Neanderthals might be capable of infecting humans now that our immune systems have lost lost the ability to deal with them.

"It is true that viruses will be archived in permafrost and glacial ice, but the probability that viral pathogens of humans are abundant enough, and would circulate extensively enough to affect human health, stretches scientific rationality to the breaking point," said marine virologist Curtis Suttle.

"I would be much more concerned about the hundreds of millions of people that will be displaced by rising sea levels than the risk of being exposed to pathogens from melting permafrost."

   
Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (31)

Tags: Virus, Permafrost, Siberia


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #22 Posted by pallidin on 6 March, 2014, 2:09
Yeah, no worries. This does not have fatal human pathogenic ability(that I know of) Seasonal flu and similar is much more dangerous.
Comment icon #23 Posted by JGirl on 6 March, 2014, 2:19
it will mutate. we are doomed
Comment icon #24 Posted by avs76 on 6 March, 2014, 13:27
This is scary. Kinda reminds me of a book I read a few years ago, something about a virus that was hidden under the ice I think in Antarctica. It's been locked away for 30000 years, maybe it was put there for a reason. Some things are supposed to stay hidden ...
Comment icon #25 Posted by Myster D on 9 March, 2014, 1:24
like we've no got enough viruses leave it well alone already
Comment icon #26 Posted by qxcontinuum on 9 March, 2014, 7:28
A 30.000 years old virus is as inoffensive as a lady bug. In fact that virus will not survive itself out there. Viruses requires continuos mutation to resist to actual changes. Isn't funny that everything on this planet is enemy or food to the human body ?
Comment icon #27 Posted by Rlyeh on 9 March, 2014, 9:17
And virtually every other organism.
Comment icon #28 Posted by FizzPuff on 9 March, 2014, 22:32
Kinda reminds me of something out of the x-files... the one with the black goop stuff.
Comment icon #29 Posted by SolarPlexus on 9 March, 2014, 23:09
Did the virus survive in our atmosphere?
Comment icon #30 Posted by JustTerri on 18 March, 2014, 21:34
That's crazy.
Comment icon #31 Posted by Collateral Damage on 2 April, 2014, 13:07
Sorry for such a late response! That would be a terrible scenario and is possible. It's sad, really, how such intelligent minds would rather be wasted on horrific nature rather than put to use on honorable achievements. Let's just hope we never come to that, or like you said, we're ****ed!


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