The melting of frozen layers of the soil can reveal ancient viruses that are dangerous to human health
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A group of 50,000-year-old virus found in Siberia was reactivated from the melting of permafrost — frozen soil layer. The action was carried out by researchers from the University of Aix-Marseille, in France, with the aim of studying ancient microorganisms that can “come back to life” if they escape their icy confinements, due to effects of global warming🇧🇷

That’s because permafrost thawing has the potential to release old, dormant viruses and bacteria that can survive frozen in polar regions. In this case, scientists identified 7 new viruses, the youngest of which was in the ice for 27,000 years, while the oldest was frozen for 48,500 years — an age that ranked it as the oldest of its kind ever resurrected.

The melting of frozen layers of the soil can reveal ancient viruses that are dangerous to human healthSource: Source: NASA/Reproduction

The discovery follows work begun by the team in 2014, which revived two 30,000-year-old viruses. After the end of hibernation in the natural environment, the 9 samples in total were able to replicate in the laboratory. This proved that viruses are alive and capable of infecting cells of simpler organisms, such as amoebas.

Although the viruses found do not endanger the health of plants and animals, including people, scientists do not rule out the arrival of a more dangerous type. They warn that other viruses dormant in different ancient soils must also survive for eons, and reach the surface from the permafrost melting by the climate change🇧🇷

Furthermore, this soil is rich in minerals, which may arouse the interest of industries in going to the region to explore resources, such as gold and diamonds. Therefore, there is the possibility that ancient viruses, not so harmless, may awaken and that, in contact with humans, can cause diseases or even epidemics that are not yet known.

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