French scientists have brought alive a 48,500-year-old zombie virus buried under a frozen lake in Russia!
According to the New York Post, French scientists have raised fears of another pandemic after reviving a “zombie virus”.
The New York Post is a daily newspaper published in New York City.
The New York Post cited a viral study that has yet to be peer-reviewed.
“The situation would be much more catastrophic in terms of plant, animal or human diseases due to the revival of ancient unknown viruses,” reads the “Viral” study.
According to preliminary reports, global warming is rapidly melting the permanently frozen landmass that covers one-quarter of the Northern Hemisphere. This has the destabilizing effect of “leaving organic matter frozen for a million years” – possibly containing deadly microbes.
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“Part of this organic matter includes revived cellular microbes (prokaryotes, unicellular eukaryotes) as well as viruses that have been dormant since prehistoric times,” the researchers write.
According to the New York Post, scientists have, perhaps strangely, resurrected some of these so-called “zombie viruses” from the Siberian permafrost to investigate the awakened critters.
The oldest, Pandoravirus Yedoma, was 48,500 years old, a record age for a frozen virus where it can infect other creatures. This breaks the previous record of a 30,000-year-old virus identified in Siberia by the same scientists in 2013.
According to Science Alert, the new strain is one of 13 viruses described in the study, each with its own genome.
While the Pandoravirus was discovered at the bottom of a lake in Yukechi Alas, Yakutia, Russia, others have been discovered everywhere from mammoth fur to the intestines of Siberian wolves.
Scientists discovered that all “zombie viruses” have the potential to be infectious and therefore a “health hazard” after conducting research on live cultures. They believe that COVID-19-style pandemics will become more common in the future, as melting permafrost releases long-dormant viruses such as the microbial Captain America, according to the New York Post.
“It is therefore valid to consider the risk of ancient viral particles remaining infectious and being re-circulated by thawing of ancient permafrost layers,” they write.
Unfortunately, this is a vicious cycle as the organic matter released by melting ice decomposes into carbon dioxide and methane, increasing the greenhouse effect and accelerating melting.
The New York Post reports that the new thawed virus may be only the tip of the epidemiological iceberg as there are more hibernating viruses yet to be discovered.
More research is needed to assess the level of infectivity of these unknown viruses when exposed to light, heat, oxygen and other external environmental variables.
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