Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/4/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Concerns that this could wreak havoc upon mankind

It sounds something out of a science-fiction story - but it's completely true. A 30,000-year-old giant virus has been revived from the frozen Siberian tundra. There are mounting fears that the virus could disturb dormant microbial life that could one day prove harmful to man.

The discovery has sparked concern that increased mining and oil drilling in rapidly warming northern latitudes could widely deploy the virus into the earth's atmosphere.

The discovery has sparked concern that increased mining and oil drilling in rapidly warming northern latitudes could widely deploy the virus into the earth's atmosphere.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/4/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Siberian tundra, virus, Pithovirus sibericum


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The discovery has sparked concern that increased mining and oil drilling in rapidly warming northern latitudes could widely deploy the virus into the earth's atmosphere.

The ancient virus appears to belong to a new family of mega-viruses that infect only amoeba. Its revival in a laboratory stands as "a proof of principle that we could eventually resurrect active infectious viruses from different periods," the study's lead author, microbiologist Jean-Michel Claverie of Aix-Marseille University in France, says.

Light up the darkness -- by going here!


"We know that those non-dangerous viruses are alive there, which probably is telling us that the dangerous kind that may infect humans and animals -- that we think were eradicated from the surface of Earth -- are actually still present and eventually viable, in the ground," Claverie said.

As climate change makes northern reaches more accessible, the chance of disturbing dormant human pathogens increases. Surface temperatures in the area that previously contained the virus have increased substantially in more temperate latitudes, researchers noted.

"People will go there; they will settle there, and they will start mining and drilling," Claverie said. "Human activities are going to perturb layers that have been dormant for 3 million years and may contain viruses."

We cannot definitely say that there are some human pathogens in there," Claverie's co-author, Chantal Abergel says. She cautioned that their finding is limited to one innocuous virus infecting an amoeba. They will reexamine the drill core samples, Abergel said, to "find out if there is anything there that is dangerous to humans and animals."

Scientists thawed the virus, dubbed Pithovirus sibericum, and watched it replicate in a culture in a Petri dish. The virus infected an amoeba, a simple single-cell organism.

Viruses can survive being locked up in the permafrost for extremely long periods, according to a statement released by France's National Center for Scientific Research.

"It has important implications for public-health risks in connection with exploiting mineral or energy resources in Arctic Circle regions that are becoming more and more accessible through global warming," it said.

"The revival of viruses that are considered to have been eradicated, such as the smallpox virus, whose replication process is similar to that of Pithovirus, is no longer limited to science fiction," the statement continued. "The risk that this scenario could happen in real life has to be viewed realistically."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Green

World must address climate change or 'condemn our children to a world they will no longer have the capacity to repair,' Obama says Watch

Image of Obama recently gave final approval to Shell Oil's drilling in the Alaskan Arctic for the first time in 20 years. Environmentalists have called down Obama for hypocrisy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

United States President Barack Obama called upon world to act quickly on climate change or "condemn our children to a world they will no longer have the capacity to repair." The president used unusually strong language at the "GLACIER" conference in Anchorage, ... continue reading


Nearly all seabird species expected to have guts full of plastic by 2050 Watch

Image of A bird with plastic netting wrapped around its neck.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A recently published study stated by 2050, nearly every seabird species is predicted to have plastic debris ingested into their systems. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Senior research scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research ... continue reading


NASA captures space 'butterfly' with Hubble Space Telescope Watch

Image of  Hubble Scope's new image of Minkowski's Butterfly, a Butterfly Nebula.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A butterfly nebula recently beamed back via NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. NASA reports the phenomenon is the result of good luck, dust, a dying star and a smaller star. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) -NASA explained that the occurrence had to do with ... continue reading


OMINOUS DEVELOPMENT: Massive chunk breaks off world's fastest melting glacier Watch

Image of It comes as ominous news to coastal cities and nations around the world vulnerable to sudden sea level rise . the world's fastest melting glacier had a massive chunk break off in over two days, setting an unwelcome record.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It comes as ominous news to coastal cities and nations around the world vulnerable to sudden sea level rise as the world's fastest melting glacier had a massive chunk break off in over two days, setting an unwelcome record. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


First for insect kingdom: Ants able to 'self-medicate' when unwell Watch

Image of It was also learned that the infected ants would also either choose to eat the poison as often as normal food, or only a quarter of the time, showing that the ants were

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The common ant is typically thought of as being an example of the "hive mind" - acting in concert with their respective colonies, without free will. Researchers have now learned that ants are able to feel when they are sick or unwell - and self-medicate themselves. LOS ... continue reading


WORLD-WIDE POWER OUTAGE: Is a massive solar flare in our near future? Watch

Image of [Photo by: Solar Flare/BENSOW]

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world is highly dependent on electricity, even more so now than ever before. A massive solar storm can leave the Earth in bad shape and cause a global-scale of darkness. We must always be ready for such an event to prevent further panic and havoc. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


World's oldest 'first flower' discovered in Spain's mountainous regions Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An ancient plant fossil, of what could be claimed as the world's oldest flowering plant, was unearthed in Spain. According to a new study in the online journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the plant, which is approximately 125 million to 130 ... continue reading


Biggest oarfish EVER: Latest specimen washed ashore on Catalina Island was at least 24 feet long Watch

Image of Oarfish washed up onshore on California's coasts in recent years are believed to have been sick, disoriented because of a storm or even responding to underwater seismic activity.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Oarfish, deep-sea denizens, have been washing up on the resort island of Catalina Island with surprising frequency. Oarfish washed up there June of 2013 - and now, a dead oarfish full of krill washed up there again on Monday. Experts say the more recent ... continue reading


Three African nations will be among the 10 most densely populated in 2050, report says Watch

Image of Many African countries will be rising in the ranks over the next 30 years due to life-extending medical advances. The study finds that most national populations will double in 40 countries, chiefly African.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Washington-based Population Reference Bureau has recently published a projected study of what the most populous nations in the world will be in the year 2050. Because of high fertility rates and improved life expectancy, three African nations - Nigeria, ... continue reading


NASA tests 'Ferrari of rocket engines' set to launch astronauts to Mars Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The RS-25, for a trip to Mars, has been tested by NASA. According to reports, the engine was more powerful than the top technology we currently use in automobile and jet industries. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - CNET.com reported that the RS-25 engine is ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11
1 About times and dates, brothers, there is no need ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 1st, 2015 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter