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Gigantic Virus Found in Kolyma Permafrost
7.03.2014 23:45
Gigantic Virus Found in Kolyma Permafrost

A viable virus of enormous size has been found by Russian and French scientists in permafrost near River Kolyma.

      Experts conducted exploration in the permafrost zone, which is no less than 30 thousand years old. Analyses of samples taken resulted in an unexpected discovery: the researchers found amoebae affected by massive viruses.

      The discovery was made by an international group of scientists, among them the head of the Soils Cryology Laboratory in Puschino Elizabeth Rivkina and her co-worker, as well as experts of the Marseilles Microbiology Institute.

      The detected virus is so big in size that there is nothing like it in the nature. This megavirus presents no danger for people, but it is a real aggressor towards an amoeba: it first pretends to be a bacterium, which amoebas enjoy hunting and once being swallowed, the virus immediately starts reproducing.

      The viability of the virus giant is to be envied. Siberian frosts are a child’s play for it and it goes on impacting not only bacteria, but entire ecosystems as well. Microbiologists have named it Pithovirus sibericum.

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Viruses Bacteria Kolyma   

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