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A few weeks ago we informed you of a study that analyzed the great epidemics of history, such as the Plague of Justinian and the Black Death and He warned of the possibility that these reappear today. These theories have permeated the scientific community, which has focused its attention on the study of ancient viruses that could spread again among the contemporary population.
In this case, a group of researchers from the French National Center for Scientific Research has carried out an analysis of a 30,000-year-old "giant" virus that was found in Siberia in 2000 frozen in a layer of permafrost. Twelve years after the discovery, the French team, encouraged by having managed to revive a plant of the same age, raised the possibility that they could also bring that virus back to life and thus be able to analyze its components and the effects it had on human beings. living from the environment.
The call 'phithovirus sibericum'And its effects came to light when an amoeba culture was mixed with the remains of permafrost in which it was trapped, infecting the microbes, suddenly killing some of them. The researchers could then take samples and carry out morphological and epistemological analyzes of this strange virus that was trapped in the ice of Siberia. As the results published in the journal show PNAS, its dimensions reach 1.5 microns in length and 0.5 in diameter.
These types of giant viruses are not so uncommon in nature and they can be found on the seabed or even in the blood of some people. For example, him 'pandoravirus‘, that was discovered this year is one of them. Its dimensions are 1,000 times those of the common influenza virus. But new siberian microbe has turned out to be even bigger, outperforming pandoravirus and rising as the largest on Earth so far known.
The team of experts led byChantal abergel, with these discoveries of giant viruses that include the 'pandoravirus'And the new'phitovirus', They have published theories about the existence of a fourth dimension of life on Earth that have created a stir and debate among experts. With the recent emergence of viruses reaching the sizes of a common cell, there appears to be apoint of connection between the spheres of life proper to microbes and cells, bigger,and those of viruses, which are much smaller in size and, therefore, different ways of life and reproduction.
Although these giant viral agents do not usually attack humans, only other single-celled organisms such as amoebae, Abergel states that Climate change and the consequent thawing of the ice could make these prehistoric viruses reappear: "The fact that we can contract a viral infection from a Neanderthal that has been extinct for a long time is a good demonstration that the notion that a virus can be eradicated from the planet is incorrect and gives us a false sense of security".
The layers of permafrost that thaw little by little each year do not usually exceed 50 centimeters, and the virus was found at 30 meters depth, so it seems that in principle there would be no danger. The problem is that each time the layer that thaws is much greater, and many reportable human practices such as intensive mining and oil drilling, as well as air pollution, contribute to accelerating these natural processes.
However, and even if it were the case that one of these viruses were unleashed, microbiologists like Manuel Martínez from the University of Alicante believe that the risk of danger is very limited and even that these pathogens could have beneficial effects for humans, like many other known viruses:"Now we will have to evaluate how this phenomenon affects, if we can do it", aim. Likewise, he believes that it is possible that this virus currently lives in remote places such as the seabed without being detected.
Romantic, in the artistic sense of the word. In my adolescence, both family and friends reminded me over and over that I was an inveterate humanist, as I spent time doing what perhaps others not so much, believing myself to be Bécquer, immersed in my own artistic fantasies, in books and movies, constantly wanting to travel and explore the world, admired for my historical past and for the wonderful productions of the human being. That is why I decided to study History and combine it with Art History, because it seemed to me the most appropriate way to carry out the skills and passions that characterize me: reading, writing, traveling, researching, knowing, making known, educating. Disclosure is another of my motivations, because I understand that there is no word that has real value if it is not because it has been transmitted effectively. And with this, I am determined that everything I do in my life has an educational purpose.