Presence of 15,000-year-old Unknown Viruses in Tibetan Glacier Ice

It has been reported that a group of scientists discovered 15,000 years old viruses in ice samples taken from Tibetan Plateau, China. Their frozen state led them to survive this long. The findings came to light after they got published in the journal Microbiome. The journal also reveals that the scientists implemented a new method for analyzing viruses in ice without contaminating it.

The ice was collected from the Guliya ice cap in western China. The cores are collected at high altitudes, where this ice originated, which is 22,000 feet above sea level. The viruses originated with soil or plants and they found genetic codes for 33 viruses.

“These glaciers were formed gradually, and along with dust and gases, many, many viruses were also deposited in that ice,” said lead author Zhi-Ping Zhong, a researcher at The Ohio State University`s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Centre who also focuses on microbiology.

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