Under the icy soil of the Arctic is a frozen soup of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These germs have never engaged in cellular interaction. But as the planet’s temperature rises due to climate change, these bacteria that were frozen in permafrost are starting to defrost.
After tens of thousands of years of permafrost melting, scientists were able to isolate live bacteria. Fear not, though; only amoebas are affected.
Discovery Of An Array Of Zombie Virus
From seven permafrost samples and two water samples collected from Siberian rivers, the researchers recovered 13 newly characterized viruses.
Three of the viruses, known as Megavirus mammoth, Pithovirus mammoth, and Pandoravirus mammoth, were discovered inside the petrified wool of a mammoth that was 27,000 years old. A further one was found in the frozen intestines of a long-extinct Siberian wolf.
Should We Be Warned?
Not necessarily as none of this virus seem to affect humans. But if one of these types were to awaken and infect humans, contemporary vaccines probably would provide some protection. It would be difficult to develop a vaccine for such a virus.