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Frozen unknown bacteria and viruses discovered in Tibet

The Guliya’s cap, Located west of the Kunlun Mountains, in the Chinese part of the Tibetan Plateau, it is an ice crust that formed before the last ice age.

According to experts, it would be up to half a million years old in its deepest parts. It is right in this place where dozens of unknown bacteria and viruses have been discovered.

This is specified by an investigation published in “BioRxiv”, in which you write about 28 groups of viruses strangers who had been frozen for up to 15,000 years.

And it is that dozens of viruses were trapped in the ice for several years, explain the experts, headed by Zhi-Ping Zhong, member of the Ohio State University.

“The planet’s glaciers are shrinking rapidly. At a minimum, this could lead to the loss of viral and microbial files (…) of Earth’s weather regimes in the past; however, in the worst possible scenario, the melting of ice could release pathogens into the environment, ”says Zhi-Ping Zhong.

This means that these viruses and bacteria are fossils. To determine this, they chose two ice witnesses, extracted in 1992 and 2015, and placed them in a cold room at 23ºF. Of 33 viruses they detected, 28 were unknown. Meanwhile, 18 of those 33 are viruses that attack microorganisms.

“All this information begins to fill the void of the viruses stored in the glacier and sheds light on their potential impact on their hosts when they are active,” the scientists detailed in the study.

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