What Is Zombie Virus
The ancient amoeba virus unearthed by researchers is ominously being called a “zombie virus.”
The preliminary paper describes zombie viruses as “viruses that remained dormant since prehistorical times,” but have since been revived due to being unfrozen.
The amoeba virus, which had been dormant for nearly 50,000 years, was unthawed by the researchers, making it a zombie virus.
Here are five points on the Revived Virus:
The amoeba virus is actually one of 13 outlined in a new study currently in preprint, according to Science Alert. It was found beneath a lake.
The revived virus has been given the name Pandoravirus yedoma, based on its size and the permafrost soil it has been found in. The study about its discovery has not yet been peer-reviewed but is available on bioRxiv.
Along with the ‘zombie virus’, mammoth wool and the intestines of a Siberian wolf have also been found beneath the permafrost.
Scientists have been saying that more and more bacteria are being released because the rising global temperature has increased the speed at which the swathes of ice are melting. These bacteria could include potentially harmful pathogens, they have warned.
The study is based on a “moderate” warming scenario – where the global temperatures are expected to rise between 2 degrees Celsius and 3 degrees Celsius on average by 2100.