An ancient virus found in Siberian permafrost is still capable of infecting, though the virus “can’t be said to be ‘alive,'” it’s still functional.
Stephanie Pappas via Live Science:
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It’s 30,000 years old and still ticking: A giant virus recently discovered deep in the Siberian permafrost reveals that huge ancient viruses are much more diverse than scientists had ever known.
They’re also potentially infectious if thawed from their Siberian deep freeze, though they pose no danger to humans, said Chantal Abergel, a scientist at the National Center for Scientific Research at Aix-Marseille University in France and co-author of a new study announcing the discovery of the new virus. As the globe warms and the region thaws, mining and drilling will likely penetrate previously inaccessible areas, Abergel said.
“Safety precautions should be taken when moving that amount of frozen earth,” she told Live Science.