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Ancient viruses might one day get added to the risks to mankind’s survival, mysterious viruses which can cross species, viruses that have lay dormant since the death of the dinosaurs!
Or, on the other hand, they may lead to a cure for all our ailments…
Over the past few decades Scientists working within the Arctic circle, have discovered several, massive super viruses, that were slumbering within the permafrost’s of earth, viruses that some are saying could be awoken en-masse, when the ice that imprisons them, one day dissolves.
In 2015, researchers in Siberia uncovered a virus that they called, “Mollivirus sibericum,” a 30,000-year-old sleeping monster that when woken up, succeeded in quickly infecting and destroying an amoeba, during a lab experiment…
Also, about a decade earlier, scientists discovered the first strain of what is now known as the “Mimi-virus,” a twelve hundred gene virus, twice the physical size of our modern super viruses, it was found buried beneath layers of currently melting ice within the Russian tundra.
Some researchers have suggested that these enormous viruses could one day thaw out, escape, and make lots of people sick, or even die… However, others say the chances are slim…
“The likelihood that these viruses will break free and sicken humans is extremely unlikely,” according to New York Times science columnist Carl Zimmer, whose recent book, “A Planet of Viruses,” digs deep into what we know about viruses and the diseases they cause. Quote,
“These particular viruses infect amoebas. So if you’re an amoeba, yeah you should be really scared,” Zimmer told Business Insider. “So far, there are no human pathogens that have burst out of the Siberian permafrost. That’s not to say that viruses won’t emerge, but there are so many viruses circulating in living animals, I think we should put these frozen viruses very low on our list of concerns.”
He added in an email, “most of these massive viruses have been found after melting samples of Arctic ice in a lab, — they’re not currently crawling along the Russian tundra, like some microscopic Frankenstein.” End quote.
Another interesting thing about these arctic Viruses, is that normal viruses are not technically alive, but these giant ancient ones seem to have some characteristics of a lifeform, like a functioning metabolism.
Although the risks of a worldwide epidemic are slim, it’s probably best not to go looking for them… Just in case.