Viruses in glacial ice: Researchers find ‘false signatures’



Science

Ancient viruses ‘released into the environment’: Researchers examine glacial ice

Researchers have discovered ancient viruses in glacial ice.

Photo: Getty Images / Rod Strachan




Updated: 07/22/2021 – 06:33

Researchers in glacier ice in China have discovered viruses they had never seen before. It appears that they have been hiding for more than 15,000 years.

Biologists from Ohio State University analyzed two core pits. removed from icy ice Des Julia is in western China. The age of the ice is estimated to be 15,000 years. They found the genetic codes for 33 Viruses, of which four are already known and 28 are completely new.


Viruses in glacial ice raise questions

“Dissolving will not only result in the loss of these ancient, archived microbes and viruses, but will also result in their release into the environment in the future,” the researchers wrote as part of their research. a study. The paper was published in the journal Microbiome under the direction of microbiologist Zhi-Ping Zhong.

Very little is known about viruses and microbes in these harsh environments and what actually exists, added Geologist Loni Thompson. So many important questions remain unanswered.

“How do bacteria and viruses interact with climate change? What happens if we go from an ice age to a warm period like the one we have now?”

Discovering ‘surreal genetic signatures’

“These glaciers formed gradually, and along with the dust and gases, many viruses were deposited in this ice,” Chung says. The microbes detected likely represent those in the atmosphere at the time of their deposition.

“These are viruses that would have thrived in extreme environments,” says microbiologist Matthew Sullivan. They will have “surreal genetic signatures” in order to survive harsh conditions. In the meantime, there seems to be a higher risk Dangerous viruses from the animal kingdom out.

Coyle: Microbiome, The Ohio State University

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