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Scientists revive virus that has been frozen for almost 50,000 years
March 14, 2023
New reports show that once revived, viruses that are many years old can infect amoeba cells. These viruses have been trapped in Siberian permafrost for tens of thousands of years. Scientists have taken samples from the permafrost, thawed it, and revived the viruses in order to perform studies on them.
This has been done before by the same scientists. A French professor named Jean-Michel Claverie and his team took samples from different areas and revived the viruses in order to study them. They did this in 2014 and repeated the same experiment in 2015. In their experiments, they have observed multiple different types of ancient viruses.
Their most recent research show that some of these ancient viruses can infect amoeba cells and, in turn, may be infectious to other living creatures.
The main question many people may ask is “why are they reviving ancient viruses?”
It seems like something out of a movie where a scientist’s curiosity leads to an ancient virus being released; however, there are more reasons for this other than curiosity. Studies show that the Siberian permafrost and areas around it have been going up in temperature. Scientists worry that the rising temperature could lead to the permafrost thawing.
This could release these ancient viruses that have been preserved inside the permafrost. Scientists want to assess how dangerous these viruses could be and what would be the appropriate action if they do happen to be thawed out. Let’s hope that none of the viruses that are being studied thaw out anytime soon.