This Pithovirus was still capable of infecting an amoeba after having been frozen for 30,000 years. An earlier-unidentified giant virus, unearthed from the place it had been frozen beneath the Siberian permafrost for the last 30,000 years, was revived and was still able to infect its victims after such a long time.
This huge virus, called Pithovirus sibericum is currently the biggest virus at 1.5 microns long by 0.5 microns wide to have ever discovered. It is approximately fifteen times bigger than the influenza virus, and it is roughly 30% larger than the earlier largest virus ever discovered, the Pandoravirus.
Among recognized viruses, the giant viruses tend to be extremely tough, nearly impossible to open. Special surroundings like deep ocean permafrost and sediments are very excellent microbes and viruses preservers since they are in the dark, lacking oxygen (anoxic) and cold. Luckily, Pithovirus does not include human beings, or mice, on its victims list; therefore, it doesn’t present any threat to humans.
It is amoebas that such larger viruses usually target, and that is precisely what scientists made use of to draw Pithovirus out of the soil samples. The scientists placed a little of the soil in a sample of amoebas and then observed as the virus attacked.
Although Pithovirus is not a threat to humans, the scientists indicate that there may be other vicious viruses lying in wait in Arctic permafrost. With a lot of the permafrost melting because of a change of environment, and more expeditions traveling there to explore for oil and other valuable resources, humans may become exposed to something infectious.
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