A 48,500-year-old virus has been revived from Siberian permafrost

  1. from reading the paper published by the people who did revive the virus(es) it seems to me like the main purpose of reviving them in the first place is to study them to find ways to eliminate other similar viruses that are threats to places where permafrost is becoming warmer and these viruses are re-entering the ecosystems after tens of thousands of years because of these environments becoming warmer. I feel like this is a valid line of reasoning to do this, idk about you all

  2. Tiny rant but it always annoys me so much when reddit just assumes they know better than the professionals without even engaging with the material. As if most posts only serve to stroke the ego of someone who sees a headline, thinks to himself "I spot the error here" and then sees himself validated in the comments.

  3. It's not really tens of thousands years. Only a few thousand years ago trees grew on arctic coasts of Siberia, which means there was no permafrost back then.

  4. How big is the risk of something like this affecting modern humans in the first place? Using an arms race analogy for viruses and immune systems, wouldn’t it be like digging up some stone clubs to study?

  5. ...I came here with a joke in my head and finding out that scientists in the field are actually doing this out of concern rather than limit testing and historical inference made it far, far less funny.

  6. Just to nitpick (molecular biologist with focus on viruses here), you cannot "revive" a virus. It's by most definitions of what "life" entails not a living thing. While there are people who differ in their opinion on that, they are a minority, by a large distance.

  7. The Wuhan Institute of Virology were studying SARS-like bat viruses allegedly for the same reason.

  8. Just sayin’, if we know that the permafrost is going to thaw and release all of these old viruses, we might want to do some research on them to prepare for what’s going to happen.

  9. It sure is better if scientists manage to find them and study them, before a random reindeer herder accidentally brings back something worse than the recent SARS 2.0.

  10. Won't those be released as the permafrost melts? So studying them, and having the capacity to fight them before they're released by global warming is actually a really great idea.

  11. “Following initial reports published more than 5 years ago [38, 39], this study confirms the capacity of large DNA viruses infecting Acanthamoeba to remain infectious after more than 48,500 years spent in deep permafrost.”

  12. Oh man! What a callback to my favorite song, “Put that thing back where it came from or so help me”from the titular musical, “Put that thing back where it came from or so help me”

  13. Judging by the comments, this subreddit has apparently gone from being dedicated to science to being dedicated to speculative fiction. Neat!

  14. I think that's because a lot of people on this sub (and Reddit in general) don't usually try to read the articles, but assume that reading the headline is enough to understand the situation.

  15. They like to find things that they can quote movies on. Or that their favorite fiction story “warned about this”

  16. good choice to do it now, we have just had a test run with Covid, I am sure everyone remembers what they need to do to save lives.....

  17. Something to keep in mind, nearly none of these viruses are going to present a threat to us. A virus like covid existed in another species for centuries with constant exposure to a very similar organism (people) before a self propogating infection could mutate out of it. A virus being reintroduced that isn't adapted for today's organisms is unlikely to establish itself before it dies off. It's only because of brutally high replication rates that we have the rapid evolution necessary to keep viruses around. A virus has to have a vector to spread, a way to avoid destruction, and the ability to infect cells in its ecosystem to stay around.

  18. Thank you for saying this, every time this type of post appears it gets filled with pseudo-scientists and people claiming it’s gonna cause armageddon.

  19. We’ve known there were ancient Virus and Bacterium in the permafrost for year iirc, with the caps melting it only makes sense to study them so we can be prepared for their inevitable return

  20. It's the opposite actually. With the melting permafrost, it's not a far-fetched possibility that similar viruses will be released and wreak havoc upon the local ecosystem, and perhaps even affect humans.

  21. It makes sense to study the viruses because we're doing nothing about global warming. Prayers, thoughts and social media posts aren't going to stop it are they? (Both global warming and the release of these viruses)

  22. The permafrost in Siberia is melting due to climate change, and there's a possibility that it might release old microorganisms and viruses currently frozen within it.

  23. I think it was more in the sense that this virus used to be immobile, like how you would call a battery a dead battery.

  24. A tv show sorta uses this as a plotline, except its from 800 AD! check out 12 Monkeys! it is fantastic!

  25. Why is everyone expecting that this will spread and be as bad as covid. Wouldn't it be very behind on the evolutionary scale from the viruses we have today?

  26. Might lack the ability to infect human cells. Might not. People seem to forget that there’s a plethora of viruses that had all the time in the world to mutate and follow the evolution. and most of them infect one (or more) of uncountable species on earth that aren’t human. It’s actually more likely for a virus to not spread onto humans than it is for it to do.

  27. You got to wonder which viruses would be discovered and they are likely viruses that easily spread and propagated. Hence why they are discovered fairly easily tens of thousands of years later. Many infected mammals.

  28. The virus was probably not that dangerous because the number of earth living beings was low and the virus did not travel around the planet; it was locally contained and the virus was most likely confined to one or a few species due to its low level of contamination and evolutionary pressure.

  29. Well, you can revive them in the lab or let them revive themselves in the wild without anyone knowing about it, I'll take the lab every time (at least there we can study them and find out how dangerous they are and how to fight against them if necessary).

  30. I’m sure they’ll come up with a highly contested, world dividing vaccine in record time to solve a 50000yo virus

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