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Pandoravirus: the melting Arctic is releasing ancient germs – how worried should we be?

By Paul Hunter, Professor of Medicine, University of East Anglia
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Scientists have recently revived several large viruses that had been buried in the frozen Siberian ground (permafrost) for tens of thousands of years.

The youngest virus to be revived was a sprightly 27,000 years old. And the oldest – a Pandoravirus – was around 48,500 years old. This is the oldest virus ever to have been revived.

As the world continues to warm, the thawing permafrost is releasing organic matter that has been frozen for millennia, including bacteria and viruses…The Conversation


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