Scientists awakened a virus that had been “sleeping” in permafrost for 48,000 years

(ORDO NEWS) — Melting permafrost can cause new pandemics and other disasters.

During this process, viruses and bacteria that lived a long time ago are released. The problem is that no one knows whether the human immune system will be able to cope with them.

Humanity has faced global warming and is unsuccessfully trying to stop it. This trouble is growing in its scale like a snowball. At some point, everything can turn into a disaster, and this is why – the permafrost has begun to melt.

Permafrost is a frozen layer of soil underground. It was untouched for tens of thousands of years.

In the literal sense of the word, he froze in time. Now, due to warming, it is thawing, and with it millions of microorganisms unknown to science.

Many people today are skeptical about this development, but scientists are convinced that there is a small amount of truth in it.

For example, Jean-Michel Clavery from the Medical School of the University of Aix-Marseille is convinced that there are zombie viruses in the permafrost. Yes, they are sleeping now, but they can wake up at any moment.

Jean-Michel and a team of scientists are researching the virus, which was discovered in 2003. The sample is representative of giant viruses.

They are so large that they can be seen with an ordinary light microscope. But such viruses are dangerous not because of their size, the professor claims.

So, in 2014, Clavery’s team revived this virus after it had been dormant for 30,000 years. Then a year later, the same team revived another type of virus.

Later in the course of the study, they isolated several strains of the ancient virus. All of them can infect protozoan cells.

The oldest of the awakened microorganisms is 48,500 years old, and the youngest is 27,000 years old.

And if they can still infect healthy single-celled organisms, who knows what else is in the permafrost. Perhaps there are many pathogens dangerous for humans.


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