When you hear the word “woolly mammoth,” what comes to mind? Huge, majestic, tusked beasts roaming a world uninhabited by contemporary humans.
The majestic animals have laid silently and largely undisturbed in their permafrost graves since they last traversed that path a million years ago. But now, intrigued researchers have chosen to stir up these old, Stone Age viruses from their slumber.
The remnants of the woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, other extinct species, and…dormant old viruses can all be found in northeast Siberia, according to researchers.
According to the Daily Mail, the goal of the project, which is being carried out by Vector or Russia’s State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology, is to collect cellular material that carries the viruses that killed the enormous monsters and do experiments on them in a lab.
There is concern that the coronavirus pandemic may wind up resembling the less severe outbreak, given that modern human bodies are unfamiliar with these ancient “paleoviruses” and that they could cross the species barrier.
Given that woolly mammoths were enormous creatures, larger than modern elephants and considerably bigger than the typical person, the viruses that killed them are unquestionably a matter for concern.
Additionally, the scientific community has sounded the alarm. Professor of microbiology at the University of Aix-Marseille in France, Jean-Michel Claverie, claimed that the Russian study “was awful. I vehemently oppose it “.
He also said it “is really dangerous. These virus kinds have never been exposed to by our immune systems. Some of them might be as old as 400,000 years. However, old viruses that affected humans or animals may still be contagious.”
But the terrible truth is that sooner or later something lethal will probably emerge from the frozen waters of the Arctic even without Vector’s reawakening of the old viruses. The global scientific community has already expressed concern over hazardous illnesses that could escape their “frozen prisons” as permafrost slowly melts due to global warming.