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Study finds next epidemic may come from melting glaciers

Study finds next epidemic may come from melting glaciers

At the moment, the work has not yet revealed how many viruses have been identified, nor a number of which is unknown to science.

the enemy from within. According to a recent study by Dr. Stefan Aris-Brousseau and colleagues at the University of Ottawa in Canada, their conclusions are laid out in columns. guardian, the next pandemic to affect humanity could come from melting ice, which could release viruses and bacteria trapped until then in glaciers and permafrost. These can attack local wildlife.

What is the effect on humans?

To reach this conclusion, the researchers took soil and sediment samples from Lake Hazen, the world’s largest Arctic freshwater lake, near where small, medium and large amounts of meltwater flowed from local glaciers.

After these samples, the scientists sequenced the RNA and DNA of these samples, in order to compare them with those of known viruses thanks to an algorithm created by them. According to them, the risk of spreading these viruses to new hosts is much higher in places where large amounts of water flow. A phenomenon that tends to increase with increasing temperature.

“The only thing we can be sure of is that as temperatures rise, the risk of thawing increases in that particular environment. Will that lead to epidemics? We have absolutely no idea,” Dr. Aris Brousseau says in British media columns. .

The latter also ensures that the work has not yet revealed how many viruses have been identified, especially the number of viruses unknown to science. However, this should be done in the coming months, after new work should determine whether or not they are capable of causing infection at the human level.

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This isn’t the first time scientists have been interested in these viruses, which are sometimes called “zombie viruses.” In 2015, a 30,000-year-old “supervirus” was found in Siberia, in the permafrost, permanently frozen soil of the Russian province. Since then it has been observed in laboratories.