Scientists discovered a rare virus in Chinese glaciers

Photo: Courtesy.
Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

In the cold ice of China's Tibetan Plateau, a group of scientists identified two samples of 33 different viruses, of which most survived due to freezing and do not resemble any existing to date. It is not a new pandemic with new viruses, this discovery will serve to understand how viruses evolved over the centuries.

The study of viruses trapped in glaciers has become common among communities of scientists, but not because of a fashion trend, but because of the thaw caused by climate change there are more found.

"We know very little about microbes that live in extreme environments. Documentation and understanding of these issues is very relevant: How do bacteria and viruses respond to global warming? What happens when we go from an ice age to a warm period like the one we are experiencing now?”.

Lonnie Thompson, Ohio State University researcher and lead author of the paper, referred to the importance of conducting this type of research.

Although it seems incredible that there are viruses and microbes inside glaciers, it is something quite normal. Ice cores contain layers that accumulate year after year and trap everything that was in and around the atmosphere..

The specialist explained that glaciers are a type of vault in time, because if it is very old it contains valuable information and scientists have used this to better understand climate change and many aspects of life.

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