Permafrost: a permanently frozen layer on or under our planet’s surface. Permafrost is made up of soil, gravel, and sand, and is usually bound together by ice. Unfortunately, because of the deadly effects of global warming and climate change, the Siberian permafrost has started melting at an alarming rate. Permafrost hosts a variety of frozen organisms, some of which may wake up from their “deep sleep” and start infecting mammals and other species. In a recent study, scientists have focused on a virus that infects amoeba. Twelve other viruses that have been woken up from their frozen state are also being studied with great interest. So why did scientists decide to wake up these sleeping viruses? Well, the reason is quite straightforward. In the next one or two decades, a lot of permafrost is going to melt and expose deadly organisms including disease-causing pathogens, which would otherwise have remained buried for thousands or even millions of years. It is important to study these organisms now instead of later. This will give scientists enough time to design new vaccines if required. Deadly bacteria are also getting released into the environment because of the melting permafrost, so such studies are of paramount significance. Subscribe to Videonum Sci-Tech for research that matters.
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