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Massive prehistoric virus unearthed from Siberia's frozen wasteland.

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orochi91

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Paris (AFP) - Scientists said they will reanimate a 30,000-year-old giant virus unearthed in the frozen wastelands of Siberia, and warned climate change may awaken dangerous microscopic pathogens.

Reporting this week in the flagship journal of the US National Academy of Sciences, French researchers announced the discovery of Mollivirus sibericum, the fourth type of pre-historic virus found since 2003 -- and the second by this team.

Before waking it up, researchers will have to verify that the bug cannot cause animal or human disease.

To qualify as a "giant", a virus has to be longer than half a micron, a thousandth of a millimetre (0.00002 of an inch).

Mollivirus sibericum -- "soft virus from Siberia" -- comes in at 0.6 microns, and was found in the permafrost of northeastern Russia.

The regions in which these giant microbes have been found are coveted for their mineral resources, especially oil, and will become increasingly accessible for industrial exploitation as more of the ice melts away.

"If we are not careful, and we industrialise these areas without putting safeguards in place, we run the risk of one day waking up viruses such as small pox that we thought were eradicated," he added.

Unlike most viruses circulating today, and to the general astonishment of scientists, these ancient specimens dating from the last Ice Age are not only bigger, but far more complex genetically.

M. sibericum has more than 500 genes, while another family of giant virus discovered in 2003, Pandoravirus, has 2,500. The Influenza A virus, by contrast, has eight genes.

In 2004, US scientists resurrected the notorious "Spanish flu" virus, which killed tens of millions of people, in order to understand how the pathogen was extraordinarily so virulent.

More at the link: http://news.yahoo.com/frankenvirus-emerges-siberias-frozen-wasteland-142859117.html

Fascinating stuff, and I expect these sort of discoveries to become commonplace as the permafrost in Siberia and the Canadian tundra continue to dissipate due to climate change.
 

ThisGuy

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I would like to see it in action in a controlled environment.

I wonder if the complexity of the virus was it's downfall.
 

DemiMatt

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"If we are not careful, and we industrialise these areas without putting safeguards in place, we run the risk of one day waking up viruses such as small pox that we thought were eradicated," he added.

Big scare tactics.
 

Jzero

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ItIsOkBro

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I read the article and it doesn't say why they're reanimating a dangerous virus...why are they reanimating a dangerous virus? A dangerous virus called pandoravirus?
 

orochi91

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Any Biology majors here?

Why would these ancient viruses be more genetically complex than modern day ones, like the Influenza strain?

I read the article and it doesn't say why they're reanimating a dangerous virus...why are they reanimating a dangerous virus? A dangerous virus called pandoravirus?

Perhaps they can learn something from it and use that knowledge to work on cures for modern illnesses.

Other than that, it's probably morbid curiosity lol
 

Sesha

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Jan 28, 2013
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Hope they brought flamethrowers.

a virus is resurrected...

it has 2500 genes....

a normal virus has 8...


get ready for....

Gigantovirus - The Massive Prehistoric Virus

That's too clever.

It has to be something more modern and eyecatching.

Like MegaVirus
 

SolidusDave

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It's crazy that we can reanimate a 30k year old virus.

I'm not sure you actually have to do much. As long as the virus is intact, thawing it should be enough.
Basically. You probably have to find ideal conditions for infection and the right cell type.

Virus can't multiply w/o a host cell so I guess they let it infect cell cultures to get more of it for the studies.
I'm not sure if that's what they mean by waking it up? They my have used advanced sequencing techniques from very small amounts so that they can already check the genes before having it infect cells I guess.


For the doomsday people:
Such old virus are probably pretty outdated in evolutionary terms, even if they find a suitable host our immune systems should be able to deal with that unless maybe it's something humans never had contact with or similar mutations rates like the flu.


UNLESS, it being a virus, it may have been SO potent it killed EVERYTHING and died out along with the hosts. Until now!
 
May 28, 2015
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Before waking it up, researchers will have to verify that the bug cannot cause animal or human disease.

Is there even a safe way to do that without testing it on someone? Man just let the thing be stuck in ice, it was frozen for a reason.
 

orochi91

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Is there even a safe way to do that without testing it on someone? Man just let the thing be stuck in ice, it was frozen for a reason.

They say they're gonna test the virus on an amoeba, which will serve as the host.

From this, they should be able to see how..."active" the virus is.
 

LookAtMeGo

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Oct 30, 2013
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Time to start digging my bunker. I'll PM the coordinates to any interested. BYOB.

Watch this virus kill all other viruses and save humanity.
 
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