Scientists Search for Prehistoric Viruses in Melting Permafrost

Russian scientists research thousands of years old viruses frozen in permafrost that could return thanks to climate change.

Climate change is a matter of concern to many. But not only because of the ecological factor, but also because it could represent a new and serious danger for humanity with the resurgence of prehistoric viruses.

All this because the changes in our planet are causing the permafrost to melt and with it some threats frozen from time immemorial would be about to be released.

This situation involves several circumstances that must be considered carefully, and here we share the basic generalities.

Something frozen

According to the Siberian Times, the secondary effects of global warming, permafrost has been impacted by decreasing its volume and density.

In other words, ancient ice is thawed by heat, releasing carbon dioxide and methane in doing so.

But in the same way, in these layers the permafrost would contain different types of bacteria and viruses that date back centuries.

Returning to room temperature could reactivate them. So the Russian biotechnology laboratory Vector, now would have the project to investigate this situation and the risks involved.

The study will begin by analyzing tissues from a prehistoric horse from at least 4,500 years ago in search of viruses from the Paleolithic period.

Moose, dogs, hares and rodents would also enter this project, although their age is different. In the end they will seek to assess the risks of these viruses waking up.