Thursday, July 29

15,000-year-old virus discovered in Tibetan glacier | Digital Trends Spanish

A team of scientists studying glacier ice has found nearly 15-year-old viruses in two ice samples taken from China’s Tibetan Plateau.

Most of these viruses, which have managed to survive frozen, do not resemble any other virus cataloged to date.

The results, which were published in the journal Microbiome, could help experts understand how viruses have evolved over the centuries.

“These glaciers formed gradually, and along with the dust and gases, a lot of viruses were also deposited on that ice,” explains Zhi-Ping Zhong, lead author of the study and researcher at the Byrd State University Center for Polar and Climate Research. from Ohio.

Ohio State University.

“Glaciers in western China are not well studied, and our goal is to use this information to reflect past environments. And viruses are part of those environments. “

Scientists analyzed ice cores taken in 2015 from the Guliya ice cap in western China. They determined that the ice was nearly 15,000 years old, using a combination of traditional and new techniques to date this ice core.

By analyzing the ice, they found the genetic codes of 33 viruses. Four of those viruses have already been identified by the scientific community. But at least 28 of them are new.

“We know very little about the viruses and microbes in these extreme environments, and what is really there,” adds Lonnie Thompson, another of the authors.

“Documenting and understanding this is extremely important: How do bacteria and viruses respond to climate change? What happens when we go from an ice age to a warm period like the current one? “

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