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Scientists Discover New ‘Giant Virus’ in Melting Siberian Permafrost



If this sounds like it’s coming straight from an episode of X-Files, that’s because it is. Well, almost

Scientists studying microorganisms buried in Siberian permafrost, a layer of permanently frozen soil that rings the Arctic, found and revived a new type of giant virus that had been locked away for more than 30,000 years. The virus — pithovirus sibericum, a new type of giant DNA virus characterized by its large size and abundance of genes — is not hazardous to human or animal health

However, the discovery of the new virus in soil samples from Siberia raises the unsettling possibility that other far more dangerous viruses may emerge from the rapidly warming Arctic, especially as human activities such as oil and natural gas drilling increase in this area Read more…

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