European researchers have raised concerns of yet another pandemic after resurrecting a 48,500-year-old ‘Zombie Virus’ from a frozen lake in Russia.
- The researchers warned that Climate change-induced thawing of the permanently frozen land (permafrost) in the Arctic could pose a new public health threat.
- 13 new pathogens have been characterized, what are termed ‘Zombie Viruses’, which remained infectious despite spending many millennia trapped in the frozen ground.
- The virus emerged due to the thawing of permafrost as the global temperature is rising.
- The new strain is one of 13 viruses, each of which possesses its own genome.
- The oldest, dubbed Pandoravirus yedoma after the mythological character Pandora, was 48,500 years old, a record age for a frozen virus returning to a state where it has the potential to infect other organisms.
- This has broken the previous record held by a 30,000-year-old virus discovered by the same team in Siberia in 2013.