Rapidly-defrosting Siberia yields huge, 30,000 year old virus - and it’s alive!
Researchers in Siberia have uncovered and revived (say what!) a 30,000 year old giant virus sparking concern that increased mining and oil drilling in the rapidly-defrosting area could inadvertently release a similar virus that could one day prove harmful to man. The mammoth virus belongs to a new family of mega-viruses that thankfully, only infect amoeba. But researchers say its revival in a laboratory stands as “a proof of principle that we could eventually resurrect active infectious viruses from different periods.”
30,000-YEAR OLD VIRUS TURNS AMOEBA INTO VIRUS FACTORY
As if there weren’t enough problems with thawing tundra. A virus of unprecedented size has been isolated from Russian permafrost 30,000 years old and reactivated….
The researchers tracked and filmed the pithovirus’s entire life cycle. Once inside an amoeba, it migrates to the wall of a chamber called a vacuole. It does this with the help of an unusual structure at one end that the team discovered, which serves as a kind of cork.
“Its function is to seal and protect the amphora-shaped particle, but as soon as it enters a vacuole, the cork is removed to initiate the infection,” says Abergel. “It allows the internal membrane of the virus to fuse with that of the vacuole,” she says.
Next, material from the virus spills out into the vacuole and turns it into a factory for making components of daughter virus particles. After a few hours, these assemble and mature into thousands of new pithoviruses which gather at the vacuole’s edges before bursting out of a completely emaciated amoeba to find new host cells to infect. “It literally sucks the life out of the cell within 12 to 14 hours,” says Abergel….
Other permafrost researchers said the possibility that it harbours revivable viruses is real, and adds to the fear that reawakened microbes in thawing permafrost may increase global warming by digesting organic matter and releasing greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. ….
Pichani juu ni kirusi aina ya ‘Pithovirus’ mwenye umri wa miaka 30,000
Inaweza ikawa ni vigumu kuamini ila ukweli ni kwamba, kirusi mpya mkubwa kuwahi kutokea Duniani amegundulika na watafiti eneo la Siberia Urusi baada ya kuishi chini ya barafu kwa takribani karne 300 sawa na miaka 30,000.
Anafahamika kwa jina la kisayansi “Pithovirus” amepatikana chini ya ardhi iliyoganda kaskazini…
A new type of giant virus called “Pithovirus” has been discovered in the frozen ground of extreme north-eastern Siberia. Buried underground, this giant virus, which is harmless to humans and animals, has survived being frozen for more than 30,000 years. Although its size and amphora shape are reminiscent of Pandoravirus, analysis of its genome and replication mechanism proves that Pithovirus is very different. This work brings to three the number of distinct families of giant viruses.
Um vírus de 30.000 anos de idade foi reavivado na Sibéria [Foto: Julia Bartoli e Chantal Abergel]
Encontrado em uma amostra retirada do permafrost, Pithovirus sibericum é inofensivo para seres humanos. Descoberta é alerta para agentes patogênicos congelados que podem ser despertados pelo aquecimento global.
A report made to the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America this past November, and just published in their Proceedings a month ago reveals a “giant virus” (able to be seen under a standard microscope, unlike most viruses) has become active after being thawed from a sample of Siberian permafrost. Researchers at the Russian Academy…