Six 'zombie viruses' are coming back to us due to climate change

Photo: Pexels / Karolina Grabowska

Ancient viruses, those which have not been seen anywhere in the world for centuries, може Yes wipe out people due to climate change, warn scientists.

Disease particles remain infectious even to todaytime, trapped in mammoth wool, Siberian mummies, prehistoric wolves, and even in the lungs of a flu victim buried in frozen ground, researchers have found. Institutions in Russia, Germany and in France worked together on the new study, which showed that "the risk is certain to increase in the context of global warming. Тthe melting of the permafrost will continue to accelerate, releasing some diseases that have been trapped within the permafrost since prehistoric times time".

Вabout the past decades нscientists have unearthed several microbes from the fossil record of the permafrost, and analysisite showsAt deck "zombie" viruses could return.


Scientists have exhumed the body of an Inuit woman buried in a mass grave of flu victims near a remote village outside the town of Brewig Mission, Alaska.

Thanks to the permafrost was preserved sufficient ribonucleic acid from the influenza virus and so well that researchers were able to sequence the entire genome of the 1918 influenza virus.

ОThe finding is an indication of how easily deadly viruses can survive in the Arctic's permafrost, researchers say.

The pathologist Dr. Johan W. Hultin purposely sought out flu samples that could help medical researchers better understand how to fight future pandemics.


According to the United Nations World Health Organization, smallpox was officially eradicated globally in 1980.

But in 2004, French and Russian scientists found smallpox in a 300-year-old Siberian ice mummy frozen in the tundra of Russia's Sakha Republic.

The mummy dates from quickly made graves during emergenceand of smallpox con the end of the 17th to the beginning of the 18th century in the northeastern Siberian region.

Each of the archaeological sites consisted of frozen wooden graves buried in permafrost, but the unusual smallpox grave was filled with five frozen mummies.

Individual burials were a traditional practice in the region at the time, and further analysis suggested to the researchers that the bodies were buried quickly after their deaths.

Pitovirus sibericum

At about 1,5 micrometers, pitovirus sibericum is more than seven times the size of the modern a virus that infects humans, the size of which usually ranges from 20 to 200 nanometers.

First extracted from the Siberian permafrost in 2014, from 30 meters underground, the giant ancient virus is one of the few viruses visible under an ordinary light microscope.

French scientists at the National Center for Scientific Research at the University of Aix-Marseille resurrected the 30.000-year-old zombie pitovirus sibericum by exposing sacrificial amoebas to the virus.

"This is the first time we have seen a virus that is still infectious after this time," Professor Clavery said at the time.

"The ease with which these new viruses were isolated suggests that infectious virus particles specific to many other unexplored eukaryotic hosts, including humans and animals, likely remain abundant in the ancient permafrost."

"Wolf" virus Pakmanvirus lupus

The ancient relative of the African swine fever virus, pakmanvirus lupus was found when are thawed the 27.000-year-old intestines of a frozen Siberian wolf.

The remains of this Siberian wolf (Canis lupus) were found in the same river bed as the two mammoth viruses.

Like other large-sized ancient viruses, pakmanvirus lupus is still capable of reviving and killing amoebae, even though it has been out of the game since the Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age.

Pandoravirus and mammoth megavirus

И both viruses were discovered in a lump of ice and frozen wool from a 27.000-year-old mammoth on the banks of the Yana River in Russia.

As well as the previous ones ancient giant viruses have both been shown to be capable of killing amoebae.

The researchers chose amoebae as test "canaries" because these single-celled organisms are close enough to human and animal-like eukaryotic cells to be informative, but not close enough to risk creating a new pandemic.

Scientists wrote this year that it is still "legitimate to consider the risk that ancient viral particles remain infectious and recirculate as the ancient layers of the eternal thaw."iot ice".

Dear reader,

Our access to web content is free, because we believe in equality in information, regardless of whether someone can pay or not. Therefore, in order to continue our work, we ask for the support of our community of readers by financially supporting the Free Press. Become a member of Sloboden Pechat to help the facilities that will enable us to deliver long-term and quality information and TOGETHER let's ensure a free and independent voice that will ALWAYS BE ON THE PEOPLE'S SIDE.


Video of the day