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Giant, ancient viruses are thawing out in Siberia

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posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 09:59 AM
Fresh doom-porn. Served hot and ready! Apparently, a giant virus called Mollivirus Sibericum has been found in the melted permafrost of Siberia. This virus, while big and bad compared to other viruses, comes in at 30 times the size of a regular virus and is said to only be able to affect Amoeba; not humans. So, while upon first look this seems scary, people should have nothing to worry about.

Last month, researchers announced they were studying a 30,000-year-old giant virus called Mollivirus sibericum that they found in melted Siberian permafrost. The virus was functional and able to infect amoeba.

This isn't the first time researchers have found big viruses that have challenged what we thought we knew about the tiny invaders. Mimivirus, discovered in 2003, has 1,200 genes and is twice the width of traditional viruses.

But it was this most recently discovered virus which prompted several outlets to suggest that once it thawed out, it could escape and make lots of people sick.

We recently chatted with New York Times columnist and "A Planet of Viruses" author Carl Zimmer to see what he thought about the discovery. In terms of its potential risk to people, he said we don't need to be concerned.

I don't know, ATS. I would think that if this virus can affect Amoebas then it should be able to affect humans, right? This isn't my field of expertise so I'm not sure. What do the ATS experts have to say?

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 10:29 AM
So not much of a doom porn if is not affecting us.
On the other side if it affects amoebas and then zombie amoebas comes for us ...

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 10:41 AM
It's the Amoebapocolypse!

Poor Amoebas.

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 10:45 AM
Should we warn the Amoebas?

Is this their version of the end times?

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 10:57 AM

originally posted by: WhiteHat
So not much of a doom porn if is not affecting us.
On the other side if it affects amoebas and then zombie amoebas comes for us ...

It was the article's title. However, I do believe this can affect humans negatively. I'm just not sure in what way.

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 10:58 AM
Amoebas can infect us, so this virus could potentially infect us.

What are the effects the virus has on amoebas?.

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 11:06 AM
I think the scary thing is that god knows what other monster-viruses can hide under the ice, and what they can do to us... and to our amoebas

OP, I'm joking about amoebas, hope you know that

S&F for an interesting discovery.

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 11:10 AM
a reply to: lostbook

So not really doom porn then,however if it gets into a human and stays there it could evolve maybe.??

On a side note I've always wondered what ancient viruses are lurking in the more frozen areas of the planet.
edit on 14 10 2015 by Ozsheeple because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 11:19 AM
But if it killed all the amoebas that would be really bad right??

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 11:20 AM

Some facts about them jellies.

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 08:11 PM
It's very difficult for bacteria and viruses to attack any other species then they are evolved to do. So in this case i won't worry since a dead amoebe won't eat your brain either.

posted on Oct, 14 2015 @ 09:39 PM
A tyrannosaurus of a virus just woke up.
I think you should worry!
sounds like the Blob to me...

and what other virus did they not see
wake up and crawl on to there boot?

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 12:50 AM
There's always good doom porn to be found if you look hard enough.

From the OP's link

Viruses are technically not considered alive, but these giant viruses do seem to have some of the qualities of being alive, like a functioning metabolism. If we're ever going to rethink the characteristics of viruses, these giant thawed-out viruses will be the ones to make us do it.
So, these are living viruses. That's a switch! Seems to me that might give them some additional capabilities in terms of adapting to their new environment.

In addition to its unusual size, Mollivirus sibericum has other components which separate it from the vast majority of viruses. It has more than 500 genes, for example, which give the virus instructions for making proteins. By contrast, HIV has just nine genes.
In terms of gene transfer, their genome has a lot to choose from. I'm sure there's got to be some nasty stuff hiding in there somewhere. After a little bit of horizontal gene transfer with Bird Flu, or Ebola, we'll get something really fun.

The Yahoo news link played down the really scary stuff. But, Business Insider actually states what the paper authors were most concerned about:

The authors of the paper worry that while the few ancient viruses identified in the permafrost sample don't appear to be harmful to humans (they haven't found varieties of small pox or herpes), others might not be so benign.

There is a concern that rising temperatures and melting ice--not to mention oil exploration in the Arctic--could see the reappearance of ancient deadly viruses.

"If we are not careful, and we industrialize these areas without putting safeguards in place, we run the risk of one day waking up viruses such as smallpox that we thought were eradicated," one of the lead researchers, Jean-Michel Claverie, told AFP.

And it isn't just giant viruses found in the colder regions of the world. Small viruses were recently discovered in arctic lakes. It looks like all kinds of infection-causing viruses could defrost as the world warms.

Kind of makes me think of the 1982 version of The Thing. I'm sure there's an Ancient Aliens episode here.

Here's what the paper authors had to say about the hardiness of this virus:

The fact that two different viruses retain their infectivity in prehistorical permafrost layers should be of concern in a context of global warming. Giant viruses’ diversity remains to be fully explored.

Basically after being frozen for 30,000 years, these viruses are still viable and infective.

So, to summarize: At 30,000 years old, here's the proper scientific context in which to view this discovery:


posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 01:23 AM
a reply to: lostbook

Well, lets see.. viruses are some of the most microscopic things on the planet.. so if they are bigger than normal, can we call them "Giant"?

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