Home World & People Back from the Dead – An Ancient Virus Returns

Back from the Dead – An Ancient Virus Returns

Although it may sound like something out of a horror film, a 30,000 year old virus has been resurrected.

But don’t worry, we aren’t all done for – yet.

A study published in a science journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals that an old virus that was trapped in ice was released and brought back to life.

However, the researchers who discovered the virus say there is no reason to worry as it cannot affect humans or animals and that it is only capable of attacking amoeba.

Trapped in the vast layers of Siberian permafrost, Pithovirus sibericum was found approximately 30 meters within the snow.

The size of the virus is particularly staggering as it measures 1.5 micrometers in length, which is the largest that has ever been seen.

Pithovirus sibericum is part of a category of ‘giant viruses’ that have not been active for over 30,000 years and the class of virus was only unearthed 10 years ago. Its size is so relatively massive, that it can be viewed using a regular microscope as opposed to modern day viruses which can only be seen using an electron microscope which is costly and not usually available in biology labs.

Although the virus has essentially been asleep for 30,000 years, while running tests in the lab it came back to life. The tests revealed that it can only attack single cell organisms.

One of the researchers who made this discovery, Dr Chantal Abergel, describes the process in which the virus works, “It comes into the cell, multiplies and finally kills the cell. It is able to kill the amoeba – but it won’t infect a human cell.”

Future

While this virus may not harm any people, others might. This is a growing concern amongst the researchers of this project and to other scientists who have followed the news of this tiny giant.

As the permafrost is constantly shrinking, more viruses like Pithovirus sibericum may be released back into the atmosphere.

While many have their doubts that another virus could be as durable as the Pithovirus, others cannot rule it out as a possibility. Some even fear that recently eradicated viruses may return.

Professor Jean-Michel Claverie, a co-author on the paper, said, “If it is true that these viruses survive in the same way those amoeba viruses survive, then smallpox is not eradicated from the planet – only the surface.”

Hasan Rezazadeh
Hasan Rezazadeh
Rezazadeh born on 1990 in Tehran. He graduated from the state university of Amir Kabir. He used to study criminology in university and has helped several courts and lawyers. He has also worked for local start ups and his previous articles were published in national publications. Currently he works as a lawyer assistant and Rezazadeh contributes to Pars Herald. City: Tehran Phone Number: +989107193380 Email: Hasan {at} ParsHerald.com Name in Persian: حسن رضازاده

Stay Connected

1,502FansLike
505FollowersFollow

Must Read

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani will not Run for President in 2013

As Iran is suffering from internal and external problems, many analysts believe Expediency Council Chairman Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani can resolve the current issues...

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani will not Run for President in 2013

As Iran is suffering from internal and external problems, many analysts believe Expediency Council Chairman Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani can resolve the current issues...

Invest Now To Make The Most Of SEIS Tax Breaks

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) fund managers are warning investors to buy their equity stakes in new start firms now rather than miss the...

Human Impact Is Killing The Planet, Warns WWF

Man is revealed as the world’s fiercest predator in a new study by the World Wildlife Fund. Nature is fighting for survival against an onslaught...

Related News

Christmas Is Not Always A Time For Goodwill

Christmas is a time for families and friends to catch up and hang out - but not if you dread the sight of them. Expats...

Technology Puts Brake On Speeding Vehicles

Governments across Europe are putting the brakes on speeding cars with new technology. Speed limiters are set to become mandatory for all motor vehicles sold...

Google Maps Sends Alert If Your Cabbie Makes A Wrong Turn

Google Maps has come up with a new feature that points you in the right direction if your cab driver goes off route to...

Airport Set For Take-Off With US$1.2bn Upgrade

A major South American airport is getting for take-off with a US$1.2 billion expansion. Jorge Chavez International Airport is Peru’s largest and busiest destination with...

DIY Digital Camera Aims To Make Kids Focus On Science

A new digital camera kit hopes to put photography in focus in the same way as Raspberry Pi has triggered interest in computers. The self-build...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here