In melting the ice found unknown ancient viruses

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An international group of scientists from the United States and China found in samples of the ice age 15 thousand years new viruses. Researchers warn that climate change, which melts glaciers that can release previously unknown infectious agents in the environment. This publication reports Science Alert.

Specialists removed two ice core drilled a 50-metre hole in a Tibetan glacier. The selection of microbiological samples and genetic analysis has helped to identify 33 groups of viruses, including 28 unknown. 18 of them infect bacteria, including Methylobacterium, Sphingomonas, and Janthinobacterium.

According to scientists, the results of their work help to establish effective methods for sampling of microorganisms and viruses in the ice cover. For the first time experts got a glimpse of the genomes of viruses that lived 520 and 15 thousand years ago.

The researchers emphasize that global warming could result in the loss of microbial and viral information that can be used to reconstruct the state of the climate in ancient times. In addition, infectious agents may be pathogenic not only for bacteria but for animals and humans.

Video, photo All from Russia.

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