(MENAFN) Scientists have warned that melting permafrost may pose a threat to civilization after resurrecting an ancient virus that had been frozen for tens of thousands of years.
Viruses like these may still infect live beings, according to an international team that witnessed nine ancient viruses found in Siberian permafrost infecting amoebas in a lab.
According to the study, the oldest of the newly identified viruses is about 50,000 years old. "48,500 years is a global record," said Jean-Michel Claverie, a team member and researcher at France's Aix-Marseille University. In its most recent investigation, his team looked at seven old viruses. Earlier in November, the researchers released a preprint of their findings.
The team, which comprises experts from Russia, France, and Germany, has previously revived two additional 30,000-year-old viruses. Although some researchers claim to have revived bacteria that are up to 250 million years old, the viruses found and revived by the team are thought to be the most ancient ever revived.
“There is a real danger,” Claverie stated, highlighting that “there are bacteria and viruses coming out every day.” Nevertheless, it is not possible to precisely control the level of potential danger so far, he clarified.
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