Difference between revisions of "Paleovirology"

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Paleovirology is the study of ancient viruses. Paleovirology is still an up-and-coming field of science, and much is still left to be discovered. Scientists hope that by learning more about ancient viruses, they will be able to better understand modern viruses. By looking at the morphology, as well as their genetic makeup, scientists are able to determine most, if not all, of the life cycle of a given ancient virus.  Some of these viruses have been found buried deep within the Siberian permafrost, and these viruses have begun opening up the field of paleovirolgy. As the climate continues to change, the permafrost will continue thaw and could potentially reveal other ancient viruses that have yet to be discovered.  
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Paleovirology is the study of ancient viruses. Scientists anticipate that by learning more about ancient viruses, they will be able to better understand modern viruses. By looking at the morphology, as well as their genetic makeup, scientists are able to determine most, if not all, of the life cycle of a given ancient virus.  Some of these viruses have been found buried deep within the Siberian permafrost, and these viruses have begun opening up the field of paleovirolgy. As the climate continues to change, the [[permafrost]] will continue thaw and could potentially reveal other ancient viruses that have yet to be discovered.  
  
 
== Pandoraviruses ==
 
== Pandoraviruses ==
What are these ancient viruses? Pandoraviruses are essentially ancient viruses with more complex genetic makeup. While most common viruses today contain roughly double-digit numbers of genes (for example: HIV has only 12 genes), these ancient viruses can contain upwards of 500 different genes. These ancient viruses are also much larger than modern viruses, measuring approximately 1.5 microns in length<ref>Pappas, S. (n.d.). [http://www.livescience.com/52175-ancient-giant-virus-revived-siberia.html Frozen Giant Virus Still Infectious After 30,000 Years]. Accessed October 29, 2015.</ref>. These pandoraviruses are a glimpse into the prehistoric realm of viruses, and can potentially lead to new discoveries in their contemporaries. To see a comparison of the different shapes and sizes of these pandoraviruses, click [http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/prehistoric-frankenvirus-mollivirus-sibericum-uncovered-in-siberian-permafrost-20150909-gjial2.html here].
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Pandoraviruses are essentially ancient viruses with more complex genetic makeup. While most common viruses today contain roughly double-digit numbers of genes (for example: HIV has only 12 genes), these ancient viruses can contain upwards of 500 different genes. These ancient viruses are also much larger than modern viruses, measuring approximately 1.5 microns in length<ref>Pappas, S. (2015, September 15). [http://www.livescience.com/52175-ancient-giant-virus-revived-siberia.html Frozen Giant Virus Still Infectious After 30,000 Years]. Accessed October 29, 2015.</ref>. These pandoraviruses are a glimpse into the prehistoric realm of viruses, and can potentially lead to new discoveries in their contemporaries. To see a comparison of the different shapes and sizes of these pandoraviruses, click [http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/prehistoric-frankenvirus-mollivirus-sibericum-uncovered-in-siberian-permafrost-20150909-gjial2.html here].
  
 
== ''Pithovirus Sibericum'' ==
 
== ''Pithovirus Sibericum'' ==
 
[[File:Eagle-ford-gets-spotlight04.jpg|thumb]]
 
[[File:Eagle-ford-gets-spotlight04.jpg|thumb]]
The most recent, and still infectious, virus found within the Siberian permafrost in 2014. This virus is known to be 30,000 years old, and has been found to be still infectious in a laboratory setting<ref>Sirucek, S. (2014, March 3). [http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140303-giant-virus-permafrost-siberia-pithovirus-pandoravirus-science/ Ancient “Giant Virus” Revived From Siberian Permafrost]. Accessed October 29, 2015.</ref>. This virus was found to be much larger than many of the other previous ancient viruses that have already been discovered. To see an image of the actual ''Pithovirus sibericum'' click [https://www.sciencenews.org/article/giant-zombie-virus-pulled-permafrost here].
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The most recent, and still infectious, virus was found within the Siberian permafrost in 2014. This virus is known to be 30,000 years old, and has been found to be still infectious in a laboratory setting<ref>Sirucek, S. (2014, March 3). [http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140303-giant-virus-permafrost-siberia-pithovirus-pandoravirus-science/ Ancient “Giant Virus” Revived From Siberian Permafrost]. Accessed October 29, 2015.</ref>. This virus was found to be much larger than many of the other previous ancient viruses that have already been discovered. To see an image of the actual ''Pithovirus sibericum'' click [https://www.sciencenews.org/article/giant-zombie-virus-pulled-permafrost here].
  
 
== Potential dangers and complications ==
 
== Potential dangers and complications ==
Given that these viruses are still active today, after 30,000 years in permafrost, are there possible ramifications for humans now? While these viruses are still infectious, their morphology will not allow them to be dangerous to humans as they are now <ref>Emerman, M., & Harmit, M. (2010, February 9). [http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1000301 PLOS Biology: Paleovirology—Modern Consequences of Ancient Viruses]. Accessed September 24, 2015. </ref>. However, if these viruses were to adapt and mutate, there could be potential issues in the future, but not directly towards humans or animals. These issues would be more dangerous on a microscopic level. It is difficult to say whether or not these viruses could pose a significant threat to organisms today, but there is still more information to be learned about these ancient viruses.
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While these viruses are still infectious after 30,000 years in permafrost, their morphology will not allow them to be dangerous to humans in their current state <ref>Emerman, M., & Harmit, M. (2010, February 9). [http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1000301 PLOS Biology: Paleovirology—Modern Consequences of Ancient Viruses]. Accessed September 24, 2015. </ref>. However, if these viruses were to adapt and mutate, there could be potential issues in the future, but not directly towards humans or animals. These issues would be more dangerous on a microscopic level. It is difficult to say whether or not these viruses could pose a significant threat to organisms, but there is still more information to be learned about these ancient viruses.
[[File:Virus.jpg|500px|thumb|center|Avian flu virus for size comparison. https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/47/112997902_6ebd0c3301.jpg]]
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[[File:Virus.jpg|500px|thumb|center|Avian flu virus for size comparison. This virus is much smaller than the newly found pandoraviruses. https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/47/112997902_6ebd0c3301.jpg]]
  
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==
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== External links ==
 
== External links ==
Add any other relevant external links in the section.
 
 
 
* [http://bioinformatics.cvr.ac.uk/paleovirology/site/html/posts/2013-04-15_what_is_paleovirology.html What Is Paleovirology?] From Paleovirology Online
 
* [http://bioinformatics.cvr.ac.uk/paleovirology/site/html/posts/2013-04-15_what_is_paleovirology.html What Is Paleovirology?] From Paleovirology Online
 
* [http://bioinformatics.cvr.ac.uk/paleovirology/ The Paleovirology Website] Home of the Fossil Record
 
* [http://bioinformatics.cvr.ac.uk/paleovirology/ The Paleovirology Website] Home of the Fossil Record

Latest revision as of 09:06, 23 November 2015

Paleovirology is the study of ancient viruses. Scientists anticipate that by learning more about ancient viruses, they will be able to better understand modern viruses. By looking at the morphology, as well as their genetic makeup, scientists are able to determine most, if not all, of the life cycle of a given ancient virus. Some of these viruses have been found buried deep within the Siberian permafrost, and these viruses have begun opening up the field of paleovirolgy. As the climate continues to change, the permafrost will continue thaw and could potentially reveal other ancient viruses that have yet to be discovered.

Pandoraviruses

Pandoraviruses are essentially ancient viruses with more complex genetic makeup. While most common viruses today contain roughly double-digit numbers of genes (for example: HIV has only 12 genes), these ancient viruses can contain upwards of 500 different genes. These ancient viruses are also much larger than modern viruses, measuring approximately 1.5 microns in length[1]. These pandoraviruses are a glimpse into the prehistoric realm of viruses, and can potentially lead to new discoveries in their contemporaries. To see a comparison of the different shapes and sizes of these pandoraviruses, click here.

Pithovirus Sibericum

Eagle-ford-gets-spotlight04.jpg

The most recent, and still infectious, virus was found within the Siberian permafrost in 2014. This virus is known to be 30,000 years old, and has been found to be still infectious in a laboratory setting[2]. This virus was found to be much larger than many of the other previous ancient viruses that have already been discovered. To see an image of the actual Pithovirus sibericum click here.

Potential dangers and complications

While these viruses are still infectious after 30,000 years in permafrost, their morphology will not allow them to be dangerous to humans in their current state [3]. However, if these viruses were to adapt and mutate, there could be potential issues in the future, but not directly towards humans or animals. These issues would be more dangerous on a microscopic level. It is difficult to say whether or not these viruses could pose a significant threat to organisms, but there is still more information to be learned about these ancient viruses.

Avian flu virus for size comparison. This virus is much smaller than the newly found pandoraviruses. https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/47/112997902_6ebd0c3301.jpg

See also

Other closely related articles in this wiki include:

References

  1. Pappas, S. (2015, September 15). Frozen Giant Virus Still Infectious After 30,000 Years. Accessed October 29, 2015.
  2. Sirucek, S. (2014, March 3). Ancient “Giant Virus” Revived From Siberian Permafrost. Accessed October 29, 2015.
  3. Emerman, M., & Harmit, M. (2010, February 9). PLOS Biology: Paleovirology—Modern Consequences of Ancient Viruses. Accessed September 24, 2015.


External links