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Prehistoric 'giant' virus unearthed in Siberian freeze
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PARIS A giant, prehistoric virus lurking under the freeze of the Siberian wasteland is about to be released.

While it might sound like something straight out of a horror movie, its actually a thing of non-fiction, according to scientists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. French researchers have discovered Mollivirus sibericum, a 30,000-year-old virus, and plan to reanimate it for study.

Before you head for the hills, be comforted by the fact that the scientists must ensure the virus cant infect animals or humans before they bring it to life, according to Yahoo News. This is the fourth prehistoric virus to be discovered since 2003.

This discovery suggests that giant viruses are not uncommon and are very diverse, the researchers, with the French National Center for Scientific Research, wrote in a release. (lt) also proves the ability of the virus to survive in the permafrost over very long periods is not limited to a particular type of virus, but likely covers viral families with very different replication strategies.

These discoveries, scientists say, highlight the growing dangers of climate change. As Arctic regions of the world continue to warm at twice the global average, the risk of releasing once-permanently frozen viruses continues to grow.

A few viral particles that are still infectious may be enough, in the presence of a vulnerable host, to revive potentially pathogenic viruses, lead researcher Jean-Michel Claverie told Yahoo News.

A giant virus is classified by its size it has to be longer than half a micron, or .00002 of an inch, according to Discovery News. Mollivirus sibericum or soft virus from Siberia measures at 0.6 microns.
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