French Scientists Publish Plan To “Wake Up” 30,000 Year Old Giant Virus Found In The Russian Permafrost

virus_1Curiosity may not have killed the cat but Mollivirus siberium might have . . . and might still. Scientists are about to “wake up” a 30,000-year-old virus found in the melting permafrost. They published their plan in in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal. What could possible go wrong, right? Just the plot of a dozen horror films.

There is actually a very good reason to go prodding ancient viruses in the lab that have been frozen since the last Ice Age. The team from the French National Centre for Scientific Research want to learn more about these viruses because, with climate change, they may soon be back in our environment with lethal effect. This is a “giant” virus because it is so big that it can be seen with just light microscopy. What is also amazing is that Mollivirus sibericum carries a complex genetic structure with more than 500 genes. As a point of comparison, the influenza virus has only 8 genes.

If that does not freak you out enough, they have a second 30,000-year-old virus, Pithovirus sibericum, in the same Russian permafrost. Last year, they discovered that Pithovirus sibericum is still infectious. Someone call Wolfgang Petersen. This screen play is writing itself.

48 thoughts on “French Scientists Publish Plan To “Wake Up” 30,000 Year Old Giant Virus Found In The Russian Permafrost”

  1. This virus has inactive protein molecules, which will not allow activation, due to the nucleic acid being compromised and destroyed, due to age, cold and time.

  2. “Taking action on climate change is vital to the survival of our species, and it’s essential to the economic future of our nation’s banks.

    According to a new report from Citibank, failure to act on global warming will cost $44 trillion dollars more than investing in low-carbon energy solutions. To create that report, called “Energy Darwinism,” researchers analyzed the likely cost of energy in the coming decades and the cost of the “negative effects” of our changing climate.

    Rather than focusing on the state of our environment or the impact on our survival, the report focused solely on the financial aspects of global warming.

    Jason Channell, Global Head of Alternative Energy and Cleantech Research at Citibank, said, “What we’re trying to do is to take an objective view at the economics of the situation and actually look at what the costs of not acting are, if the scientists are right.” He added, “There is a cost to not doing this, and although there is a cost to acting, what we’re trying to do is to actually weigh up the different costs here.”

    It doesn’t matter whether you believe that humans cause global warming. But it does matter that our planet is changing and we had better get busy figuring out how to cover the cost of surviving those changes.”

    -Thom Hartmann

  3. Modern miner: “Watch out for government scientists in white lab coats saying “Everything will be OK.” That’s the first sign it won’t be.”

    And if they say, “This is going to be a danger” I’m sure you’ll be one of the first to dismiss and declaim them.

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