The journal Microbiome has published a discovery by scientists who have discovered an unknown virus more than 15,000 years old in ice samples extracted from glaciers on the Tibetan plateau. This virus is different from any virus that scientists have previously classified.
The team, which consists of Climate Scientist and Microbiologist at Ohio State University. Since 2015, two ice cores have been taken from the top of the Guliya ice, 22,000 feet above sea level, in western China.
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Dr. Zhong Zhiping, a researcher at the Department of Microbiology Bird Polar Institute and Climate Research Center Ohio State University (BPCR) said: “These glaciers formed slowly. Along with dust and gas, many viruses also accumulate in this. “Ice … Glaciers in western China have not been well studied. And our goal is to use this information to reflect past environments. And viruses are part of those environments.”
They claimed that the ice samples were with a minimum age of 14,400 years, with a combination of modern and traditional technology. to calculate the age of this ice core
The ice core measures 310 meters and is cut into pieces 0.9 meters long and 4 inches in diameter.
The team then analyzed the ice and found 33 viruses, of which at least 28 were unknown to anyone in the scientific world. The reason these viruses survive is that they are frozen.
The study verified this These viruses are probably caused by soil or plants. instead of humans or animals. and has adapted to the harsh conditions to survive in this cold land. From preliminary studies it can be confirmed that These viruses are harmless to humans.
The study also found that Ice constantly traps various particles in the atmosphere. including viruses and microorganisms
Professor Matthew Sullivan, a researcher in the Department of Microbiology at BPCR, said: “These viruses are viruses that can thrive in difficult environments. There are genes that allow them to infect cells in cold environments.
Prof. Lonnie Thompson, one of the studio teams. The Geosciences professor, a BPCR researcher, said: “Ice is a permanent deposit of germs … it has really caught the public’s attention.”
“We know very little about viruses and microbes in these harsh environments … It is crucial to study and understand this. How bacteria and viruses respond to climate change What will happen when we move from the ice age to the warm period we are in now? ? “, He said.
Thompson added, pandemic of covid-19 has raised awareness about the importance of learning about viruses and microorganisms in the world
In the past, not much was known about the virus on glaciers. But global climate change This makes it more important to study viruses buried in ice. because if one day the ice of the world melts you will be safe There are no viruses or diseases mixed with these icy waters.
Compiled from CNN / Sci-News.
Photo courtesy of Lonnie Thompson.