30,000-year-old 'giant virus' discovered in Siberian wilderness

Scientists have discovered a 30,000-year-old prehistoric virus in deep underground in the frozen wilderness of north-eastern Siberia.

Last Updated: Sep 10, 2015, 17:43 PM IST
30,000-year-old 'giant virus' discovered in Siberian wilderness
Photo credit: CNRS

New Delhi: Scientists have discovered a 30,000-year-old prehistoric virus in deep underground in the frozen wilderness of north-eastern Siberia.

French researchers have announced that they will revive the ‘giant virus’.

The virus is called Mollivirus sibericum, translated as ‘soft virus from Siberia’ and is the fourth type of prehistoric virus discovered since 2003.

The prehistoric viruses are called ‘giant viruses’ because they are visible by light microscopy and measures at 0.6 microns, just over a thousandth of a millimeter.

The revival of Mollivirus sibericum will occur by placing the virus with single-cell amoeba, researchers said.

Scientists said they will revive the virus but will first make sure that it is inactive and can’t trigger disease in humans or animals.

Last year, the same team of scientists discovered another gaint virus Pithovirus sibericum.