Instant Improver

Scientists Are Trying To Bring A 30,000-Year-Old Virus Back To Life. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?


In what’s arguably the worst idea ever conceived, top science boffins are currently working tirelessly to bring back to life a virus that’s been frozen in the Siberian ice for 30,000 years.

Now, don’t get us wrong, the scientists have a fairly good intentions for doing so, but if Hollywood’s taught us anything it’s that defrosting and reincarnating things that were previously dead is a terrible idea.

The Mollivirus sibericum virus is one of four prehistoric agents that have recently been discovered. A team of researchers hope to reanimate the potentially lethal agent in a bid to discover whether it could be harmful to humans or animals, thus pre-empting any potential crisis and discover an anti-virus.

Which sounds utterly bonkers if you ask us but the researchers have good reasoning: With the increase of global warming affecting frozen areas it’s entirely possible that the pathogen could be released via natural means, at which point, it could be too late to work to find a cure.

Lead researcher Jean-Michel Claverie said: "A few particles that are still infectious may be enough, in the presence of a vulnerable host, to revive potentially pathogenic viruses.

"The fact that two different viruses could be easily revived from prehistoric permafrost should be of concern in a context of global warming.

"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."

He doesn’t quite say: ‘And potentially bringing about the zombie led apocalypse’, but you can see where he’s going.

Discovered by the French National Center for Scientific Research in the Kolyma lowland region of Russia, the prehistoric virus was last ‘alive’ before the previous ice age, and plans are currently underway to discover whether it could indeed become a threat.

Here’s your early warning just in case. Start stocking up on tinned food now.

[Via Cnet]


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