Dormant Siberian virus brought back to life

It has been reported that a dormant virus which had been buried in Siberia has been brought back to life by scientists.

After about 30,000 years of lying dormant in Siberia’s permafrost, the virus ‘Pithovirus sibericum’ has been revived due to a deep layer of frost thawing out. Although the virus is said to be harmless to humans and animals, it does raise important questions as to wether previously erradicated harmful viruses such as Smallpox could be revived in the same way.

Pithovirus sibericum belongs to a class of giant viruses discovered 10 years ago by scientists and was found buried 30 metres under a deep layer of permafrost. This was discovered due to climate change and the fact that Siberia’s permafrost is thinning out and reducing in size. The virus is said to have not infected anything for 30,000 years.

According to scientists the process of climate change will continue to result in an ever shrinking permafrost. Lets just hope something more deadly isn’t discovered!


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