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Scientists revive 50,000-year-old 'zombie' virus from Siberian permafrost, is it bad news for earth?

Zee News 29-11-2022 Zee News
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New Delhi: Climate change caused by various factors including global warming is leading to many disastrous consequences and one of which is the melting of the ice caps of the planet earth. The melting of glaciers and other ice-clad regions are now releasing material that laid frozen for millions of years. One such phenomenon is occurring in the Siberian permafrost and scientists have now revived a number of "zombie viruses" and many of which impose a great threat to the human race.

A journal published by microbiologist Jean-Marie Alempic of the French National Centre for Scientific Research and his team, states that the reanimating viruses are a potential threat to public health and further study needs to be done to assess the range of the danger that these infectious agents pose as they slip away from the icy grip.

Alempic along with his team of scientists characterized 13 new viruses isolated from 7 different ancient Siberian permafrost samples. Out of these 13 viruses, one found beneath a lake in the permafrost region is the 48,500-year-old amoeba virus.

Using live single-cell amoeba cultures, the team proved that these "zombie viruses" still have the potential to be infectious pathogens. the nearly 50,000 years record age-old virus is capable of infecting other organisms.

"The situation would be much more disastrous in the case of plant, animal, or human diseases caused by the revival of an ancient unknown virus," researchers stated in the journal 'Science Alert'.

 

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