“Novel Viruses” Older Than 15,000 Years Found In The Melting Tibetan Glacier

Many different viruses normally live in a healthy person. Over one trillion of a variety of viruses. Some of these viruses have no significant effect. Some viruses are actually healthy to have. They can help your body in many ways. Some viruses will make you ill. Very few types of viruses are actually deadly. A virus cannot survive outside a host, which is why they form a capsule-like structure around themselves. No single-cell organism can “thrive” outside a host, yes, they can survive but not divide exponentially without an abundant supply of nutrients. Viruses are highly improbable. Viruses are basically DNA (or RNA) molecules dressed in a thin layer of proteins and fat (phospholipids). So it is really vulnerable to environmental agents, and it is difficult it could remain viable for more than a few weeks.

Virus and bacterial diseases can evolve immensely fast and jump species barriers. This actually means that the specific virus strains of the flu virus are pretty new. What matters most is the reservoir species. The reservoir species for the flu are birds. Usually, a virus is most stable in a species where it is not lethal. But when it is attached to a host cell it becomes active or in other words “alive”. A new discovery has discovered some ancient viruses from the Tibetan plateau in China. The newly discovered virus is approximately 15000 years old and it has been discovered from two ice samples of the Tibetan plateau. The viruses which were discovered from the ice samples and active, scientists believe these viruses are alive because they were frozen for thousands of years.

Tibetan Glacier Novel Viruses

The newly discovered viruses are very much different from the virus found nowadays. This discovery will further help the virologist and scientist to study the evolution of virus over millions and billions of years. Viral latency is the capacity of some viral strains to remain dormant in the host cell, and occasionally establishing a lifelong recurrent infection. Latency can be interrupted by stress or some chemicals. Contemporary thinking is, that latency helps the virus avoid immune detection. Herpes virus is a common example of a virus with this feature. Bacteria, however, can turn into spores, a very hard and resistant construct that protects the DNA material, and the necessary proteins to restart the thing, for many years.

Spores in melting permafrost (not really ice caps, but permanently frozen ground) have been assumed to be the cause of some anthrax outbursts. The study will require a lot of precautions. For the proper and clear study, scientists have established an ultra-clean method in order to analyze the newly discovered microbes. It will help scientists in the clarified study of the virus without contaminating it. The research will initiate in the coming months and further results of the study will be published. The research will be conducted by a team of virologists and prominent scientists in China. The team of scientists will further lookout for other ancient microbes in the Tibetan region of China and study the findings and their impact on living beings. Viruses often retain their ability to replicate (and infect) weeks, months, years after freezing.

Novel Viruses Older Than 15000 Years

So freezing is one method for preserving active viruses in laboratories. There are some procedures that are important, as not freezing, unfreezing, too many times, and some differences among different viruses. While from memory global warming has already released frozen anthrax from a frozen deer carcass, this is not an ancient disease and anthrax spores can survive more than a decade even without being frozen. There is a far bigger danger of global warming and other human activities bring us into greater contact with living creatures carrying diseases that could then make the jump to humans. Viruses are also very fragile little things that get very easily deactivated by cold, heat, sunlight, and dryness. They do not deactivate instantly, but basically, after 2–3 hours their number is likely already halved. They brought back the Spanish Flu virus.

They obtained the frozen virus, from a frozen corpse, in a remote Finnish village. After analyzing the DNA, they built a new version, using organic chemicals, and a tiny electrical charge. Scientists and microbiologists are planning to build completely new bacteria, from scratch. If they can create the right bacteria, they’re able to sell them to drug companies, to use as anti-bacteria. They resurrected the Spanish Flu, reconstructing it from the frozen virus, from a frozen corpse. A famous researcher and lead author of the Ohio State University, Zhi-Ping Zhong has said that “ the glaciers of Tibetan plateau have formed over a long period of time, the deposition of several other gases and dust was accumulated in the ice, along with these many viruses also deposited and preserved in the glacier”.

Novel Viruses In Tibetan Glacier

Mr. Zhi-Ping Zhong is also the leading microbiologist at the Ohio state university and he has acclaimed a distinct position at the climate and research center at Ohio University. Furthermore, he also said that “The glaciers in western China are not well-studied, and our goal is to use this information to reflect past environments, and viruses are a part of those environments,”. The discovery of new viruses came from the Guliya ice cap of the Tibetan plateau. The samples of the ice caps were collected in the year 2015 from the Guliya ice cap. The samples have been collected from very high altitudes of the summit of Guliya. The summit is above 22000 feet above sea level. It is believed that the guliya ice cap has been formed at this height. In an experiment, scientists have recreated the conditions on Earth, from 3 billion years ago.

To work properly, they needed several minerals and a bit of electricity. The mixture created complex organic molecules – enzymes. The ancient microbes come back to life in the experiment. The study further revealed that the oldest viruses are those which are unique to humans and quite harmless. Unfortunately, the department of microbe’s study has little interest in those, so they probably never got documented. But we need to be cautious because the oldest viruses cause serious diseases. In this category smallpox is a good guess. The challenge here is to unambiguously identify diseases in ancient texts. The analysis on the Tibetan ice cap has found around 33 ancient viruses. In the newly discovered viruses, almost four are properly identified inactive states. The scientist’s community has further stated that more than 28 viruses are novel.

Novel Viruses In Melting Glaciers

These novel viruses have no identification and the research team is analyzing the inception of these viruses. In those newly found viruses, more than half of them were found to be inactive state even though they were in a frozen state. Somehow, frozen states have helped them to survived for thousands of years. A prominent professor of microbiology at Ohio State, Mr. Matthew Sullivan has said that the extreme environment has helped these viruses to survive and thrive. The presence of the unique signature of genes in the viruses helps them infect cells in a frozen environment. The signature genes helped the viruses to thrive in extreme climates. Furthermore, Mr. Sullivan also said that rare genetic signature is the reason behind the survival of these viruses in ice caps. Of the 33 newly found viruses, four of them have been identified by scientists.

These four viruses can rarely affect any bacteria. The extreme environment can be compared to the environment of mars and other places where survival cant be possible. The concentration of the viruses in the Gulya ice cap has a much lower concentration of viruses than that of the ocean. The presence of viruses in the ocean is much more than that of the Gulya ice cap. The research has further stated that the origination of these viruses is related to soil or plants. Researchers have confirmed that these viruses have not come from animals or humans rather these have been originated from soil and plants. These findings have been published from the database of the known viruses and further published in the science journal. Viruses mutate frequently and these mutations can break them. Some viruses can insert themselves into your DNA.

Novel Viruses In Glaciers

If they are broken, they can insert themselves into your DNA but can’t do anything from there so they just hang around for all your life. If the viruses do this to your germline cells which you use to produce sperm or eggs then your offspring will be genetically modified with this virus in every single one of your cells. We might be seeing some new viral diseases—perhaps ones that wiped out some previous species. Viruses tend to be specific for their targets and viruses for other animals might not bother humans. But they are deadly and we are already going through a pandemic owing to a novel virus. Unfortunately, those denying global warming will not connect their behavior to viruses. The virus can’t be killed either because it’s a virus and viruses are not actually alive and it survives on the host’s living being.

In the simplest terms, viral mutations result from the errors in DNA replication i.e. “mistakes” made when copying genetic material. The primary purpose of viruses is to make copies of themselves which they do by hijacking living cells and forcing the cells to duplicate the virus many times over. Sometimes there’s a mistake and one of the copies doesn’t quite match the original. That’s a mutation. Mutations are commonplace, especially with coronavirus and other viruses like it. Most mutations make a little difference. A few make an infection easier to catch or worsen symptoms.

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