48500 years old zombie virus returned, scientists did alive in lab, for humans


Science News Desk – The frozen ice and soil below the soil layer is called permafrost. Warmer temperatures in the Arctic are melting permafrost in the region. Due to their melting, there is a danger of waking up the deadly virus sleeping for thousands of years. These can pose a danger to both humans and animals. Scientists have now discovered a virus 48 thousand years old. Permafrost is like a time capsule, in which bodies of organisms and viruses that are thousands of years old can survive. The Arctic is warming four times faster than the rest of Earth, causing permafrost to melt. Scientists believe that if the virus frozen in them becomes alive again, there will be a threat to public health.

Kimberly Minor, a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said, ‘A lot of things are changing rapidly with the permafrost, which is a matter of concern. It is important for us to keep them frozen. Permafrost covers one-fifth of the Northern Hemisphere. To detect the virus frozen in this ice, Jean Michel Claverie, professor of genomics at the Aix-Marseille University School of Medicine in France, took soil samples from Siberian permafrost. In this way the virus sleeping in the snow is called zombie virus.

In 2003, he discovered the first virus. Due to the size of this virus, he named it ‘Giant Virus’. This is because a normal light microscope is required to see it. Professor Jean’s work also inspired a team of Russian scientists, who in 2012 discovered a 30,000-year-old virus. In 2014, Jean again discovered the 30 thousand year old virus and made it alive in the lab. However, during this he noted that it should not prove to be a threat to humans or animals. After this, in 2015 also he did something similar. But now once again they have made a virus alive.

In their latest research, published February 18 in the journal Virus, Claverie and his team created several viruses that can infect amoeba cells. They have discovered five new viruses, the oldest of which was found under the soil 48,500 years ago. Their age was ascertained on the basis of radio carbon dating of the soil. And the youngest virus is 27,000 years old, which was found in the coat of woolly mammoth remains. These viruses infecting amoeba are a sign of a bigger problem, Claverie said. Viruses found in these permafrost can also be a threat to humans. In 2012, scientists confirmed that the mummified body of a 300-year-old woman contained smallpox virus. Although scientists have recently warned that tampering with the virus can bring new epidemics, about which you can read by clicking here.

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