Discovering a New Virus from the Glaciers

by heatfeed

In the year 2015, a team of scientists from Ohio State University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory traveled to Tibet to collect samples of Earth’s Oldest Glacial Ice. Little did they know what they would find there can be so important for the survival of the human race. These scientists discovered 28 different previously undiscovered virus groups in the Tibetian ice. That was calculated to be approximately 15,000 years old.

How did the Scientists Come to Know about the Viruses?

In the year 1992, when some researchers had brought back samples of ice. To check their dates of existence from the same peak, the ice was calculated to be dated approximately 15,000 years. In 2015, when scientists tried to probe looking for the existence of organisms surviving under these glaciers, they found 28 viruses.

While inspecting earlier, the teams did not necessarily take care of their equipment not contaminating the cores. As a result of this, the scientists that carried out the research 23 years later had to make extra efforts; To remove any contamination that would otherwise have had happened at that time. Taking good care not to introduce any new contaminants of their own while working with the glaciers.

More about the Icy Research:

The scientist had to dig a hole as deep as 164 feet to extract the two ice core samples that later on had to go under a three-step decontamination process. After recognition, the scientists had to use microbiology techniques to identify these organisms in the samples. The result of these techniques was that 33 virus groups were found, which included 28 groups of viruses that scientists have never seen or known before. 

These groups of researchers have recently posted all these details on a paper that they posted on the bioRixv pre-print server. They have carefully mentioned all the details along with facts and dangers that these viruses may cause in the future.

According to them, increasing climate change is a threat in itself. It may prove to be even more fatal once these ancient viruses melt and come out into the modern world. The team made it clear that the viruses, once released in the environmental system; can create havoc and are a possible threat to mankind. 

The Melting of Ice can Cause a Dreadful Impact on the Environment:

Worst-case scenarios include the release of harmful pathogens to the environment as the ice melts further due to climate change. These pathogens will easily be ferried along various streams to lakes, rivers; And other important water bodies, potentially exposing these harmful pathogens to humans.

There is another threat awaiting us as researchers have found that ice melting is not the only problem of the environment. A recent study has exposed that certain harmful gases such as methane and carbon dioxide; That have long been trapped under the layers of ice are at risk of getting released into the environment as the ice melts off. 

While scientists try to dig deeper into the casualties that such findings may cause; We are left to wonder about how many years are left before the Earth finally decides to give up. Although advancements in the field of medical science are increasing tremendously. The battle against nature is a tough one to fight.