Ancient Viruses Pose Danger To The World
Researchers managed to resurrect a 700-year old virus from reindeer feces, and they say there’s a possibility that similar ancient viruses could be unleashed as the ice melts.
Eric Delwart and his team discovered the ancient fecal matter buried in an ice core in Canada during an investigation of the high mountain regions, which contained objects like old shoes and arrowheads, perfectly preserved for hundreds of years.
And while Dr. Delwart’s find was less than glamorous, he and his team were able to use it for some scientific benefit. Eventually, they resurrected a virus.
Dr. Delwart, a researcher at Blood Systems Research Institute in San Francisco, told NPR those viruses are preserved in times capsules, and can be revived.
“I mean we’re constantly shoving viruses down our throat and if you look at poo samples from humans and from animals you will find a lot of viruses. The find confirms that virus particles are very good “time capsules” that preserve their core genomic material, making it likely that many prehistoric viruses are still infectious to plants, animals or humans.”
The revelation means that they could be unleashed on the world as the ice melts and Arctic regions are drilled.