European researchers have recently revived 13 “zombie viruses” from Russia’s Siberian permafrost.

 

Details

  • The virus emerged due to the thawing of permafrost as the global temperature is rising. The new strain is one of 13 viruses outlined in the study, each of which possessed its own genome.
  • The oldest, dubbed Pandoravirus yedoma after the mythological character Pandora, was 48,500 years old, a record age for a frozen virus returning to a state where it has the potential to infect other organisms.
  • Pandoravirus was discovered below the bottom of a lake in Yukechi Alas in Yakutia, Russia, others have been found everywhere from mammoth fur to the intestines of a Siberian wolf.

 

What is a zombie virus?

  • Zombie virus is the term used for those viruses which have been dormant for thousands of years. Zombie viruses have been dormant for many years due to being trapped inside the ice and have come to life after the ice melted.
  • Scientists discovered that all of the “zombie viruses” have the potential to be infectious and hence pose a “health danger” after researching the live cultures.