facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

30,000-year-old virus comes back to life

Permafrost is a thick layer of ice and snow in the Siberian region of Russia that stays frozen all year but climate change has caused the layer to begin to melt.
By Aileen Graef   |   March 4, 2014 at 9:55 AM   |   Comments

SIBERIA, Russia, March 4 (UPI) -- A 30,000-year-old virus was released from the permafrost in Siberia and came back to life.

The virus became infectious again once it thawed but poses no danger to humans. At 1.5 micrometers long, the virus is the largest ever found and is comparable to the size of a small bacterium. The new species of giant virus, which can be seen under a microscope, was named Pithovirus sibericum by Professor Jean-Michele Claverie and his wife, who discovered it.

Despite the fact that more viruses could be found in the ice, scientists say "the risk of a virus pathogenic to humans being released is very small."


[Newsy]

Follow @AileenGraef and @UPI on Twitter.
Contact the Author
© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Boeing may build NASA's space taxi Boeing may build NASA's space taxi
2
Proposed Texas textbooks teach climate change skepticism Proposed Texas textbooks teach climate change skepticism
3
The NSA will now map out the entire Internet The NSA will now map out the entire Internet
4
Humpback whale rescued off Maine coast Humpback whale rescued off Maine coast
5
Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback