Jump to content
Science Forums

Could It Be A Source?


Recommended Posts

Science and PINS has published news that "Ancient viruses found in Tibetan glaciers".  Suddenly, my imagination is running rampant again.  In the last century (or half century) we have been hit with several "new and unknown" diseases - each raising a bit of panic until we figured them out.  Is it just possible that these "new" diseases come from old sources that we (and Nature) suddenly expose with our digging around or thawing out?  An idea?

 

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/01/ancient-viruses-found-tibetan-glacier?utm_campaign=news_daily_2020-03-03&et_rid=432455128&et_cid=3229793

Link to post
Share on other sites

Science and PINS has published news that "Ancient viruses found in Tibetan glaciers".  Suddenly, my imagination is running rampant again.  In the last century (or half century) we have been hit with several "new and unknown" diseases - each raising a bit of panic until we figured them out.  Is it just possible that these "new" diseases come from old sources that we (and Nature) suddenly expose with our digging around or thawing out?  An idea?

 

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/01/ancient-viruses-found-tibetan-glacier?utm_campaign=news_daily_2020-03-03&et_rid=432455128&et_cid=3229793

 

Most of these new viruses seem to jump species, in warm areas of the world, bird flu, swine flu, corona virus might be described as bat flu(i read it originates from bats). Having said that digging up bodies that died from virulent diseases stored in ice, or perma frost, could allow the virus to thaw out and if you were not too careful, might infect you. :( A few corpses have been dug out of the Permafrost in Siberia who died of spanish flu after or during the first world war. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070702145610.htm this has allowed the virus to be recovered and studied. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of these new viruses seem to jump species, in warm areas of the world, bird flu, swine flu, corona virus might be described as bat flu(i read it originates from bats). Having said that digging up bodies that died from virulent diseases stored in ice, or perma frost, could allow the virus to thaw out and if you were not too careful, might infect you. :( A few corpses have been dug out of the Permafrost in Siberia who died of spanish flu after or during the first world war. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070702145610.htm this has allowed the virus to be recovered and studied. 

Now, if we go all the way back to Adam in his garden ......?  Maybe we'd better stop eating apples?  :-)  But, to be serious,  yes to digging up corpses.  I remember one year when our local newspaper had an article from a company wanting to hire people to dig up graves so they could move a cemetery.  One of the warnings was exactly what you described and anyone who applied would need to wear protective clothing and masks.  I don't recall it all, just that those who wanted the jobs were being warned that it was hazardous work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, if we go all the way back to Adam in his garden ......?  Maybe we'd better stop eating apples?  :-)  But, to be serious,  yes to digging up corpses.  I remember one year when our local newspaper had an article from a company wanting to hire people to dig up graves so they could move a cemetery.  One of the warnings was exactly what you described and anyone who applied would need to wear protective clothing and masks.  I don't recall it all, just that those who wanted the jobs were being warned that it was hazardous work.

 

I think the trick with viruses is to preserve them, freezing works just fine. I might be wrong but I doubt a virus would remain alive in pile of bones, in a grave. They might have some nasty fungal/bacterial problem perhaps.  King Tutankamuns curse may have been bacteria or spores inside his tomb when they opened it. Did you know his dad, Pharoah Akenhaten the first monotheist Pharoahs toomb has never been found. He could even have been or was closely associated with moses, if you look at the time line and believe in that sort of stuff.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the trick with viruses is to preserve them, freezing works just fine. I might be wrong but I doubt a virus would remain alive in pile of bones, in a grave.

Nah ancient virus strains can self-assemble back into functional molecules rather easily. They aren't "alive" in the same sense as bacteria and fungi, so they can stay almost-viable for a loooong time. It actually takes fairly active means to properly "destroy" a virus to the point that it cannot re-infect something compatible in the near future. Viral self-assembly is a proven thing, is rather common for the smaller-sized viral strains, and is one of the likely mutation vectors for them, . They're like SeaMonkeyes; just add water.

 

There were a few papers about exactly that kind of ancient stain re-emergence from viral self reassembly around 2012ish IIRC.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nah ancient virus strains can self-assemble back into functional molecules rather easily. They aren't "alive" in the same sense as bacteria and fungi, so they can stay almost-viable for a loooong time. It actually takes fairly active means to properly "destroy" a virus to the point that it cannot re-infect something compatible in the near future. Viral self-assembly is a proven thing, is rather common for the smaller-sized viral strains, and is one of the likely mutation vectors for them, . They're like SeaMonkeyes; just add water.

 

There were a few papers about exactly that kind of ancient stain re-emergence from viral self reassembly around 2012ish IIRC.

 

I didnt find any thing ref self assembly of viruses in the environment :) 

and got side tracked by this little link. "Virus survival in the environment" Viruses stay viable for a lot longer than I thought https://www.oie.int/doc/ged/d8191.pdf . More than 3 years buried in the soil scrapie, the agent that causes mad cows, can still reinfect. I think I will go veggie.  

 

Another thing that occurred to me, viruses are transmitted by hosts, there was an instance in England where plague was transmitted by flees. One village outside the plague area got the plague through, a package of cloths that came from a plague area. The priest quarantined the village and the plague didnt spread further.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Mompesson

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

I was reading that viruses self assemble rather easily. I recently learned about bacteria not too long ago, and found that they are specifically microorganisms. In considering their biologyness, my first thought is that, surely, they cannot survive that. I would postulate that their preservation requires the perfect environment, however, if this does happen. This is probably a rare thing I would guess.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing about "The Tangled Tree" that disappointed me was that the author did not talk much about viruses.  His whole book was bacteria and their relationship to animals (including humans).  I think I know why.  Perhaps viruses are not part of our evolutionary story?  But they are in our bodies.  Can that be? Maybe some day someone will write an equally good book about viruses.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...