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Scientists Resurrect Unknown Virus from 700 Year-old Caribou Poop

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posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 02:59 PM
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A team from University of California, San Francisco has recreated an unknown virus from 700 year-old Caribou feces recovered from an ice core taken in the Selwyn mountains in northern Canada. The team noted the similarity to known plant-infecting viruses, Geminiviruses, and decided to try infecting a particular strain of the tobacco plant that is particularly vulnerable to viral infection.

A similar looking virus from family geminiviridae. Image credit: ICTV

The team set about making an exact copy of the virus which was introduced into the plant. The virus was later found to be replicating in the plant's leaves. This type of research spotlights a potential hazard from melting permafrost (beyond massive methane holes) — particular hardy (well encapsulated) viruses escaping their icy containment and infecting new hosts!

From Washington Post (via Obscuragator):


There may be a downside to viruses that survive well in poop-sicles. As climate change melts more and more of this ancient permafrost, there's no telling what microbes might be released -- and some of them might remain infectious.

"There's a theoretical risk of this, and we know that the nucleic acid of the virus was in great shape in our sample,"study author Eric Delwart of the University of California told New Scientist. "But old viruses could only re-emerge if they have significant advantages over the countless perfect viruses we have at present."


Well that's ummm.. somewhat reassuring (not really). Additional information can be found at the original New Scientist source.
edit on 2014-10-28 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 03:06 PM
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ACK! Just what we need, new/old viruses. I hope they're using Biocontainment Level IV space suits and not something the CDC recommended last Tuesday. They're liable to let loose something that will kill every plant on the planet and the only response we'll get will be 'oops'.



"But old viruses could only re-emerge if they have significant advantages over the countless perfect viruses we have at present."


What's this supposed to mean? We have perfect viruses now??



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 03:19 PM
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Scientists unleashed the bomb and radioactivity upon the earth, I doubt they will adjust their rationale for a little known virus.

Gee look at what we found, lets make a bunch of it and maybe it will get out, too.



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 03:19 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

That is a cool story!

Kind of a scary thought though.
Who knows what will all emerge as everything thaws out?!



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 03:24 PM
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a reply to: signalfire

There's nothing in either article I read about lab but I was thinking pretty much the same thing. I didn't really consider the "perfect virus" comment but I think what he might be alluding to is the either the condition of the virus itself or perhaps some novel trait that gives the hypothetical ancient virus a considerable advantage over other viruses/modern immune systems.



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 03:26 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

It does make you wonder what else they'll uncover out there, or what else will BE uncovered. Perhaps what killed off the dinosaurs and anything else we find under the soil wasn't a meteor or an ice age after all. Time to ready the bug out bag and become a hermit.



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 03:32 PM
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Intresing.

Somewhere there is a Virus that caused the sweating sickness which killed huge swaths of England in the Tudor period. Imagine a 30% mortality rate with the infection rate of the flu......



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 03:57 PM
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a reply to: signalfire

We almost did wipe out every plant on Earth, only with an engineered bacteria to make alcohol instead of a virus.
Klebsiella planticola

How a Biotech Company Almost Killed The World (With Booze)

Klebsiella planticola--The Gene-Altered Monster That Almost Got Away

So close...



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 04:28 PM
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There may be a downside to viruses that survive well in poop-sicles. As climate change melts more and more of this ancient permafrost, there's no telling what microbes might be released -- and some of them might remain infectious.

So let's expedite the process and do it manually, making sure it survives so we can study it.
I trust they did it safely, taking great care so it doesn't spread prematurely.



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 04:32 PM
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A scenario that I think is likely the best one for ending the world, is that some ancient virus gets released from the melting ice caps, that has been around for hundreds of thousands or millions of years, that our bodies have never been exposed to.

The virus would run rampant through the human population. I think the biggest threat to humanity isn't terrorism or global economic chaos, it's most likely to be a virus that we won't even see coming.



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 04:39 PM
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if viruses are reactivated via frozen poop or deeply buried poop might be a big problem in the future if not already




posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 04:51 PM
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a reply to: babybunnies

There is a good chance that a virus that has never encountered and evolved round humans would be incompatible with humans.
Still a small risk exists. At then end of the day a virus needs to be compatible with human DNA.
I'd worry about old plagues that have disappeared coming back like smallpox


edit on 28-10-2014 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 05:01 PM
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a reply to: crazyewok

You say that now, but wait till they dig up a mammoth carcass and discover a neanderthal with super-rabies crushed beneath it. Then things get all zombie apocalypse!



On a more serious note, there is something to be said about introduction of new viruses into a population with zero antibodies. A familiar historical example would be the vast swaths of destruction wrought by the bugs carried to the new world by the earliest European explorers/conquerors.
edit on 2014-10-28 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 05:15 PM
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Your post made me think of this book that read some years ago.They discovered a pharoao's tomb and this virus was released that was a lot like the rage virus.The cover looks a bit ridiculous but it was a super-creepy read and idea.

www.amazon.co.uk...
a reply to: theantediluvian



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 05:19 PM
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originally posted by: babybunnies
A scenario that I think is likely the best one for ending the world, is that some ancient virus gets released from the melting ice caps, that has been around for hundreds of thousands or millions of years, that our bodies have never been exposed to.

The virus would run rampant through the human population. I think the biggest threat to humanity isn't terrorism or global economic chaos, it's most likely to be a virus that we won't even see coming.


I'm sure everyone will go 'oh sure' but I did read a book about a similar story about 10 years ago but I can't remember the title or author. One scientist was responsible for reviving or getting a virus and it did wipe out everything, not sure it was on earth or not but I think it was. It was some virus from some bird. The book ended with only one man and woman on the edge of a space ship I think, one spitting out into the atmosphere in hopes of leaving human DNA that might possibly somehow be resurrected to a new human race. Darn it, I wish I could remember the title, I'd read it again. It was a friends book. Maybe someone else read it and can offer a title based on my crappy synopsis.

On another note, why would anyone resurrect a virus? And we're paying for our potential destruction with our tax dollars. I think this is serious chit. I also think it was a virus that wiped out many of the dinosaurs. Considering they were all over the world, I don't think it was a meteor or anything other wise, it would have wiped out everything. A virus could have attacked the dinosaurs and wiped them out.
edit on 28-10-2014 by StoutBroux because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 05:23 PM
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a reply to: StoutBroux




The book ended with only one man and woman on the edge of a space ship I think, one spitting out into the atmosphere in hopes of leaving human DNA that might possibly somehow be resurrected to a new human race.


Despite this being a total spoiler, I'm now interested in reading this book if you can remember the title. Talk about last ditch effort to continue the species!



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 05:30 PM
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"Hyuk Hyuk hey Cletus, look at this here virus, I wunder whut it does"

"HUR DURRRR I dunno Jimybob, lets infect sumthun with it and see whut happens"


And they say the rest of the common populace is stupid.........

Were losing the ability to control known viruses in the world through gross negligence and idiots are trying to bring back older ones.......

We deserve what we get



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 05:31 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian
It was a good read, paperback. I never returned the book and have thought of the story several times since I read it. I have looked for it but not very hard. I think I just got a new winter project.



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 05:40 PM
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originally posted by: ManBehindTheMask
We deserve what we get


Well I don't believe that. I don't hold myself responsible for the idiocy of others, especially when they're out of 2x4 reach. We each can only do so much. If my friend had his way, he'd destroy many of the facilities that do evil things like animal testing, labs that create horrible things and such. Of course I don't know him anymore so please don't take anything here as a threat.



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 06:19 PM
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a reply to: StoutBroux

there are probably a few sci-fi fans here so you might find out fairly soon, was it ever made into a movie?







 
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