Reviving 50,000-year-old viruses? Sure, why not?

Oh sure, like that’s not the opening scene from every science fiction movie ever! Via Common Dreams:

As our world continues to warm up, vast areas of permafrost are rapidly melting, releasing material that’s been trapped for up to a million years. This includes uncountable numbers of microbes that have been lying dormant for hundreds of millennia.

To study these emerging microbes, scientists from the French National Center for Scientific Research have now revived a number of these “zombie viruses” from the Siberian permafrost, including one thought to be nearly 50,000 years old – a record age for a frozen virus returning to a state capable of infecting other organisms.

The team behind the study, led by microbiologist Jean-Marie, says these ancient viruses are potentially a significant threat to public health, and further study needs to be done to assess the danger that these infectious agents could pose as the permafrost melts.

One thought on “Reviving 50,000-year-old viruses? Sure, why not?

  1. Scientists doing something incredibly dangerous just because they can or new russian bio-weapon? What could go wrong?

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