Fictional return of extinct viruses
Photo courtesy of glts
By AKRAM EL-QASSAS

Only in science fiction movies are there certain fictional procedures that resurrect dead viruses and extinct creatures after centuries of being frozen. We watched Jurassic Park and saw how dinosaurs returned to life after a genetic activation process, and in other science fiction movies scientific researchers brought viruses and microbes back to life again that go wild and threaten human life on earth.

This fiction almost became reality when French scientists announced that a virus that had been frozen for 30,000 years woke up from lethargy in a ever-frozen Siberian area.

The virus is called Pithovirus sibericum. Scientists said it is not dangerous for humans or animals, but its return to life could be a red alarm to the return of dangerous viruses like smallpox because of the greenhouse effect and the rise of earth’s temperature.

It theoretically known that viruses have traits of living organisms but can also transform into chemical substances and crystals even though it still carries the Ribonucleic acid (RNA).

The National French Scientific Research Center, which announced this discovery, said that “This matter has core reflections regarding its danger on human life.”

This is because the return of viruses that were supposedly eliminated, like smallpox, which multiply in a way similar to Pithovirus sibericum. This indicates that the resurrection of viruses is no longer a science fiction, and the seriousness of the danger that this might happen in real life must be put in consideration. This shows that all epidemics and viruses that mankind thinks are gone is not true, as these viruses and epidemics could rise again in a way that could be more dangerous than ever.

Scientists are busy with this kind of research because they are expecting that the greenhouse effect, which happens due to pollution and the hole in the Ozone, could be an indication of the reorganization of viruses to attack mankind and living organisms.

Although this is just a mere theory, that does not mean that we did not face unknown viruses through the years as a result of man manipulating nature, such as Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) known as Mad Cow disease, Avian Influenza (H5N1) and Swine Flu (H1N1), all these are disasters caused by human beings as a result of using animal fodder, hormones, and genetically modified products.

We might not be interested in such research. We might even mock them. But we always suffer and pay a high cost for such things. Let’s not forget Mad Cow disease and the influenzas that still haunt us. We do not know how or when it will end.

Originally published in Youm7.

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