50,000-year-old 'zombie' viruses hidden in glaciers awaken by scientists: Infectious and dangerous
Scientists have discovered and awakened 13 viruses that were trapped in ice for tens of thousands of years. They are all new species, with a genetic heritage never seen before. The oldest, called Pandoravirus yedoma, is believed to be about 50,000 years old. Researchers warn that these are true "zombie" viruses that represent a potential threat to public health, as they have retained their infectious capacities despite the very long period they have remained frozen.
It is not just about the viruses invented by scientists, but about the multitude that are expected to appear after the melting of the glaciers due to climate change.
According to recent research from the universities of Aarhus and Aberystwyth,
melting glaciers could release up to 100,000 tonnes of microbes into the environment by the end of the century, such as Pandoravirus, Cedratvirus, Megavirus, Pacmanvirus and Pithovirus, the latter being a completely new strain. young.
It is still unknown what will happen to the large amount of pathogens that will be released, so it is essential to study and understand their potential threats.