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. Olly
    “… you do not think should give you pause to reflect on what was in the other half of that glass.”
    = = =
    Pizz… You drink it first!

  2. Dave
    Hello and welcome. Please be advised that Nick and crew are conspiracy theorists and, if they could, paid naysayers. Trying to convince them of scientific truths is like trying to convince English Ivy that stucco is a slick surface.

    You say global warming and they bring snowballs…

  3. Al Gore’s and President Obama’s ideas may be draconian–I don’t think they are. But the Republicans continue to have no ideas. They have no ideas about dealing with climate change. About healthcare–repeal and replace with…? No ideas about infrastructure. They only seem to have ideas about more war, more military spending. More trillion dollar boondoggles. It would be GREAT if they had some ideas, because then we could have a debate.

  4. Surimike:

    “Dave…. The climate has always been changing, humans just don’t live long enough to notice.”

    Well sure. But humans exacerbate that change. To say it’s natural is like arguing that wildfires are natural, so we should just let them burn state-wide.

    “I believe the point Mr. Nick makes regards the BS ‘science’ that purports to prove that humans are the cause.”

    Billions of tons of carbon, every year, simply disappears? If fish poop in a fish tank long enough, what happens to the fish.

    “If you must have humans as the cause, then maybe seven billion is simply beyond the carrying capacity of the planet. Which third of the population shall we eliminate?”

    It’s been said that as of now we need three Earths to satisfy our demand. And how many millions are impoverished? Maybe we could at least curtail future population-growth by empowering women and their right to reproduce or not, rather than blindly follow virgin priests who want to fill their pews and accrue maximum tithing by threatening eternal punishments. How’s that for an option.

  5. Olly, Read the piece in the Daily Beast today about how Obama is spinning the bad news career intelligence people are giving him on “The Jayvee.” It’s criminal!

  6. The Church of Environmentalism’s Pope is Al Gore. ‘Nuff said. Philly, as I said, I am an Episcopal in the Environmental Church. But the Al Gore, Obama’s are Scientologists. They want to eviscerate our current energy structure. It’s about control and they want total control. They control the scientists w/ grant money. Reasonable steps are not what these Scientologists want. If it were, I would go along even though I see climate as cyclical w/ our ability to control it LAUGHABLE. I see controlling waste and not having huge landfills and dumping in the ocean laudable. But most of Fat Al Gore’s and Cult leader Obama’s ideas are draconian.

  7. Perhaps they should hold off on waking this virus up until the international community figures out how to deal with the “JV ISIS” virus spreading throughout the middle east and beyond.

  8. Science is in a world of hurt. Research has been compromised by moneyed interests that insist on complete control over what tests, and which results may or may not be published. Many pharmaceutical companies run the same drugs through trial after trial until they get the results they want.

    Money is tied up with politics, frozen thinking and favoritism.

    Then you have folks that do like the cigarette and lead industries, lobbying to hide what they know for decades while people are injured or killed.

    Climate scientists, the real, actual ones, are pretty clear about the need to do something to stop greenhouse gasses. And let’s be clear, even if they are 100% wrong, would it be so terrible to just clean up the earth and stop dumping our trash everywhere?

  9. isaac,
    Given the fact you imply those that disagree with you do not think should give you pause to reflect on what was in the other half of that glass.

  10. There are those who keep trying to figure things out. They represent the vanguard of humanity, both positive as well as negative. However, a world influenced by professional skeptics and cherry pickers is not only repulsive but downright stupid. Thank god that today’s world is lead primarily by scientific minded people. Of course they have to get the votes of the skeptics and cherry pickers so on the surface it comes out as a compromise. I’m a glass half full kind of guy so I’ll go with the thinkers.

  11. Nick,
    The facts aren’t cooked. Go to the library, study the science, follow the money if you have to. Greenhouse gases are increasing, greenhouse gases are entering the ecosystem at an alarming rate. Humans are responsible for it. While it’s certainly true that “climate change” is a polarizing topic and people have taken up sides without investigating for themselves, the evidence is abundant and staggering. No amount of denial, no amount of derisive comments will alter the physical evidence that is there. So, you don’t like liberals. Fine. Read, Nick read.

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