Wednesday, July 21, 2021

"Dozens of new viruses discovered in 15,000-year-old glacier ice"

 Oh happy day.

From New Atlas:

Scientists have collected viruses from almost-15,000-year-old ice samples, taken from glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau. Dozens of species were found to be unknown to science, which could provide an intriguing look back at the history of viral evolution.

Glaciers are fantastic at preserving deep history, as they trap particles of dust, traces of gas, microbes, and plant matter from different time periods. Since these layers build up over time, scientists can drill and study ice cores to learn a huge amount about ancient climates, what was in the atmosphere, and what kinds of life existed at various points of history.

In the new study, led by researchers from Ohio State University, ice cores were drilled from the Guliya ice cap on the Tibetan Plateau, which were dated as far back as 14,400 years old. The team then analyzed these cores for what kinds of viruses they contained, and the genetic codes of 33 viruses were identified. Four of these were found to belong to known types of bacteriophage, viruses that prey on bacteria, but at least 28 of them didn’t match any known type....


Ha! Actually that's nothing, they could have gone to New York City:
Half the DNA on the NYC Subway Matches No Known Organism