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  • 06 December, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Zombie Virus

Zombie Virus

  • Recently, French scientists warned of the possibility of another outbreak after resurrecting a 48,500-year-old zombie virus buried beneath a frozen lake in Russia.
  • This has surpassed the previous record of a 30,000-year-old virus discovered in Siberia by the same team in 2013.

About Zombie Virus:

  • A zombie virus is a virus that has become dormant due to being frozen in ice.
  • The virus emerged as a result of permafrost thawing as global temperatures rise.
  • It is a collection of viruses that have lain dormant for thousands of years.
  • Pandoravirus yedoma, named after the mythological character Pandora, is 48,500 years old and has the ability to infect other organisms.
  • It was discovered beneath the water's surface in Yukechi Alas, Yakutia, Russia.

What could be the source of the problem?

  • Permafrost, which is permanently frozen ground, covers one-quarter of the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Because of climate change, irreversibly thawing permafrost is releasing organic matter that has been frozen for up to a million years, the majority of which decomposes into carbon dioxide and methane, exacerbating the greenhouse effect.
  • This organic matter also includes revived cellular microbes (prokaryotes, unicellular eukaryotes) and viruses that have been dormant since prehistoric times.

Is the virus capable of causing harm?

  • All zombie viruses have the potential to be contagious and thus pose a health risk.
  • It is believed that pandemics like Covid-19 will become more common in the future as melting permafrost releases long-dormant viruses.

Source: Down To Earth

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