Deadly virus from space may have played role in earlier extinctions

A new study has revealed that a super-virulent virus, which either came from space or were supercharged by particles brought to Earth on comets, was most likely responsible for killing the dinosaurs.

ANI| Last Updated: Oct 15, 2014, 13:00 PM IST

London: A new study has revealed that a super-virulent virus, which either came from space or were supercharged by particles brought to Earth on comets, was most likely responsible for killing the dinosaurs.

Chandra Wickramasinghe, of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology, said that over history and evolution lethal viruses have suddenly appeared and disappeared, there is no way they could have originated from Earth, the Daily Express reported.

Wickramasinghe added that what is more plausible is they have entered the atmosphere having been carried by comets before having devastating impacts and it is possible that a virus could arrive on Earth and trigger a devastating pandemic or even wipe out human race, this is the scale of what we think we are dealing with.

Wickramasinghe continued that this has already happened during the evolutionary process, it is what is likely to have happened to the dinosaurs and is the case with the killer germs, like the AIDS-causing HIV, the lethal Ebola and small pox.

He said that the AIDS causing virus, which either fell as a complete entity or already existed in a dormant state on Earth before being supercharged by strands of RNA, similar to DNA, from outer space, has been detected in primates, but that is no proof that it came from monkeys.

He further added that the other explanation is that it came as a complete unit and more research is needed to see what happened but it is vital to prevent an extinction-level catastrophe, as these viruses could become even stronger and more dangerous, the consequences would be absolutely devastating.