Essay by Eric Worrall
Aix Marseille University Professor Emeritus Dr Claverie explaining how ancient mammoth viruses released by melting permafrost could make us sick.
Could a frozen ancient virus thawed by climate change cause the next pandemic?
ABC RN / By Sam Nichols for Future Tense
Climate change threatens human life in many ways but one of the less obvious could be a rise in pandemics.
A warming climate could release ancient pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, that have been frozen in permafrost in the polar regions for millennia, Jean-Michel Claverie tells ABC RN’s Future Tense.
“We know for certain that bacteria can remain dormant but alive for probably up to 500,000 years in permafrost. And so at that point, this is the very beginning of Homo sapiens. Our species was just emerging [at that time],” says the emeritus professor of medicine at France’s Aix Marseille University.
Dr Claverie and his team of researchers recently published their findings on seven ancient viruses found in Siberia’s permafrost. One was almost 50,000 years old and still infectious.
…Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-09/ancient-viruses-climate-change-global-pandemic-risk/102277398
The abstract of the study;
An update on eukaryotic viruses revived from ancient perma- 2
Jean-Marie Alempic 1#, Audrey Lartigue 1#, Artemiy E Goncharov 2, Guido Grosse 3,4, Jens Strauss 3, Alexey N. 4 Tikhonov 5, Alexander N. Fedorov 6, Olivier Poirot 1, Matthieu Legendre 1, Sébastien Santini 1, Chantal Abergel 1 , 5 and Jean-Michel Claverie 1,*
- 1 IGS, Information Génomique & Structurale (UMR7256), Institut de Microbiologie de la Méditerranée 7 (FR 3489), Institut Microbiologie, Bioénergies et Biotechnologie, and Institut Origines, CNRS, Aix Marseille 8 University, Marseille, 13288, France 9
- 2 Department of Molecular Microbiology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 10 Department of Epidemiology, Parasitology and Disinfectology, Northwestern State Medical Mechnikov 11 University, Saint Petersburg, 195067, Russia 12
- 3 Permafrost Research Section, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, 13 14473, Potsdam, Germany 14
- 4 Institute of Geosciences, University of Potsdam, 14478 Potsdam, Germany. 15
- 5 Laboratory of theriology, Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Science, St. Petersburg, 199034, 16 Russia. 17
- 6 Melnikov Permafrost Institute, 677010 Yakutsk, Russia 18 19
# These authors contributed equally. 20 * Correspondence: Jean-Michel.Claverie@univ-amu.fr; Tel.: +33 413946777 21
Abstract: One quarter of the Northern hemisphere is underlain by permanently frozen ground, re- 22 ferred to as permafrost. Due to climate warming, irreversibly thawing permafrost is releasing or- 23 ganic matter frozen for up to a million years, most of which decomposes into carbon dioxide and 24 methane, further enhancing the greenhouse effect. Part of this organic matter also consists of revived 25 cellular microbes (prokaryotes, unicellular eukaryotes) as well as viruses that remained dormant 26 since prehistorical times. While the literature abounds on descriptions of the rich and diverse pro- 27 karyotic microbiomes found in permafrost, no additional report about “live” viruses have been pub- 28 lished since the two original studies describing pithovirus (in 2014) and mollivirus (in 2015). This 29 wrongly suggests that such occurrences are rare and that “zombie viruses” are not a public health 30 threat. To restore an appreciation closer to reality, we report the preliminary characterizations of 13 31 new viruses isolated from 7 different ancient Siberian permafrost samples, 1 from the Lena river 32 and 1 from Kamchatka cryosol. As expected from the host specificity imposed by our protocol, these 33 viruses belong to 5 different clades infecting Acanthamoeba spp. but not previously revived from 34 permafrost: pandoravirus, cedratvirus, megavirus, and pacmanvirus, in addition to a new pithovi- 35 rus strain.Read more: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2022/11/10/2022.11.10.515937.full.pdf
Given our ancestors survived 10s of thousands of years of close contact with living mammoths, and millennia of melting ice after the end of the last ice age, I think we’ve already been exposed to pretty much everything mammoths have to offer.
I suggest genetically enhanced viruses being grown in Chinese laboratories with allegedly lax biosecurity are more of a threat to global health, than the risk from a reindeer herder stubbing his toe on a dead mammoth.
“Engineers must ‘save this planet from increasing catastrophe’, King Charles urges”
Sorry Y M, not able to help, I have retired.
Wooly mammoths won’t address the Neanderthal in Buckingham Palace.
You libel Neanderthals, sir!
Twould be a Mammoth undertaking to cross an elephantine virus into Human Population. Even Joseph Merrik would more likely be immune
Maybe for William’s coronation, an archbishop could make a housecall with his holy oil for the anointing and save 100 million UK pounds and a lot of jet travel.
Holy Cow – that explains it.
Because out here on The Fen we’ve just had THE most insane lightning rainstorm I’ve ever known.
For about ¾ hour I was counting a lightning flash about every 30 seconds and my nearest Wundergound recorded rainfall at just over one millimetre per minute.
And there’s the reason, somebody’s not too impressed with King Chuckles 1st.
Chuck’s route would have been from London (just about visible), stopping at Cambridge (purple highlight) and somewhere near the centre of the red highlight is Sandringham
I’m just about where the two highlights nearly touch
I turned lightning on on the rain radar map it shows that is still going, although at the reduced rare.
As monarch, Charlie should not be expressing his personal opinions
The Queen is dead, sadly so is the space between Charlies’ ears
German TV serial “My Friend Charly”
BoJo apparently had a word.
Who is going to save the planet from Charles III?
It’s obviously why QE2 did not abdicate and allow Charles to ascend before her death.
What about Phil? Prince Philip quote in which he says that after he dies, he would like to reincarnate as a deadly virus to help solve the issue of overpopulation.
Did they bury him in the permafrost?
Dr Claverie on seven ancient viruses found in Siberia’s permafrost. One was almost 50,000 years old and still infectious.
Just keep Dr. Faulty Science away, we don’t need anymore GOF research.
And Charlie Chump wants to be reincarnated as a tampon …
In 1993, the British press published the full transcript of a private conversation between then-Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in which the two had an intimate and sexual exchange. The conversation was notable for a number of reasons, not least of which because it involved the heir to the throne saying that he would like to “live inside [her] trousers” and joking that he would be reincarnated as a tampon, hence the name of the scandal. ‘Tampongate’ ( “Tampongate” actually took place on Dec. 17, 1989,)
To mark his coronation, Charlie Chump is releasing a new single …
‘Tampon Charlie is my name, Tampon sniffing is my game ! ‘
Prince Philip, Prince Charles & Prince Andrew.
Three examples of the British “upper class” inbreeding.
Funny how scum always floats to the top !!
I’m sure you would very much prefer a President Blair.
But count me out.
How wrong you are !!
but that’s what assuming does for you.
I’m sick of reading that one quote from Prince Philip. Obviously said when he was seriously pissed off about something.
Never said something similar?
Much more interesting that later on he quit WWF because it had been taken over by GangGreen, that he had read Prof. Ian Plimer’s great “Heaven and Earth” book with attention and enthusiasm and had got Nigel Lawson to fix up a face to face discussion with Plimer to discuss Climate Reality and the uselessness of Ruinable Energy.
Philip was sufficiently aware of his obligation to not push his personal opinions, as husband of the Queen, any more than did the Queen herself.
Also Charles’s sensible and hard working sister Anne. It is quite clear that both Anne and her dad were aghast at the sheer stupidity of wind turbines. Unlike Charles.
He was always a disappointment and likely always will be.
Now he’s dead and can no longer even theoretically defend himself, can we not cut Philip some slack and accept that everyone sometimes says something silly?
They must have all night bull sessions dreaming up shit. Mind altering drugs are probably part of the scene.
Steve, there is absolutely no end to the number of Hobgoblins they can create. Disease, weather, food, meteors, black holes…the only question is how scary can they make them. We recently witnessed what a good Propaganda Ministry, aka the media, fully engaged with social media providers can do to dial up the fright-o-meter.
They turned half the country against their neighbors and the frightened willingly accepted complete authoritarian rule over every citizen for an imagined sense of security. A sense of safety that was more deadly than the disease. The only thing we have to fear is the government itself.
Irreversibly?? Put it in your freezer. That’ll reverse it.
Or, wait for the next glaciation.
Just wait for the current warm period to end. As we drop into the next “little ice age”, much of it will re-freeze.
They will win the Nobel Prize for saving humanity from the next glaciation. Let’s celebrate! /<sarc
“Due to climate warming, irreversibly thawing permafrost is releasing organic matter”
how did all that organic matter get into the permafrost in the first place?
As it has been warmer than the present several times since the last glacial peak, I would really doubt this is a new threat.
50 years ago, there were almost no gun laws, and almost no gun violence. Obviously the problem has nothing to do with the number of gun laws on the books.
The problem with all laws is that for the most part, only the law abiding follow them, and the law abiding have never been the problem.
Oops, that was supposed to be a response to ResourceGuy.
I blame excess CO2 for this mistake.
One of the interesting points touched upon in the discussion between Mark Steyn and RFK Jr. on the Mark Steyn Show, the other day.
Other countries have higher gun ownership but deadly shootings are rare.
RFK Jr unfortunately has some weird ideas about the environment and climate, but seems very honest (for a politician). And he is spot on about Big Pharma and the likes of Tony Fauci.
Maybe it’s time to get real about real societal risks.
Chilling Gun Violence Reality: 50% of Chicago Residents Witness a Shooting by Age 40 (scitechdaily.com)
The story that isn’t being told is that there is a significant increase in suicides. The current firearm murder rate (2021) is about the same as in 1998 and 1967.
You got to wonder what fool(s) funded this one!!
Why, you and I both did!
Guvmint will have kindly sorted it out by taxation and by printing money!
The five genera mentioned are all giant viruses infecting marine amoebas, hence no threat to humans or mammoths. Pithovirus is the biggest yet found, larger than the smallest eukaryotic unicell.
Pacmanvirus does however share a sequence with African swine fever virus.
Giant viruses are double stranded DNA viruses, possibly descended from degenerate prokaryotes which became parasites, losing most of their genomes in the process. They’re probably not related to RNA viruses.
Another day, another lunatic alarmist.
Keeps the climate anxiety charlatans going…
In far northern Canada and Siberia, spruce stumps show trees grew during the Holocene optimum in Arctic places that are now permafrost. So any permafrost preserved bacteria and viruses already got released millennia ago—and nothing happened.
These nutty professors need to get out of the lab more often. Another Climate boogey man busted by common sense and internet available simple photographic evidence.
For that matter, humans and mammoths co-existed for hundreds of millennia, if not longer, depending on your definition of human.
Elephant herpes viruses pose no threat to humans:
Mammoths were the third genus in the elephant family, with African and Asian elephants, closer to the latter.
Mammoths have already been pulled from the permafrost and nothing happened.
Not only that the Russians have been digging through actual permafrost to get the Mammoth Tusks for a few decades now yet nothing happened there either.
You missed the word “kicked”, between “get” and “out”.
Any virus/bacteria that emerges from the frozen wastes is going to come up against an immune system that has had half a million battle-hardened years of evolution. I worry more about a designer virus emerging from a communist germ warfare lab.
Financed by US tax dollars. We’re still funding EcoHealth’s insanely risky gain of function “research”.
In April, we had a severe cold wave that brought temperatures down over 20 degrees below average. https://www.sltrib.com/news/2023/04/05/end-utahs-surprising-spring-snow/
This is just weather though, and that’s supposedly climate change.
IIRC this idea was the premise of the first season of the TV drama Fortitude except it was parasitic wasps instead of a virus that came out of a mammoth found in the permafrost.
So when they pulled the fossilized hippopotamus bones out of the Thames river it was OK because bacteria and virii only live in frozen mammoths.
Fauci, Drosten, your turn 😀
This just might be the best comment I’ve ever read on WUWT. And spot on accurate to boot. Bravo!
“I suggest genetically enhanced viruses being grown in Chinese laboratories with allegedly lax biosecurity are more of a threat to global health, than the risk from a reindeer herder stubbing his toe on a dead mammoth.”
I just read in a comic paper, apes doubt that man are descended from apes 😀
We still are apes, so our relatives are stuck with us.
An X-File? TransCovid from Wuhan by way of DC through Kiev? Life imitates art.
Ah, yes. The Black Oil.
How about the bees?
You would think the climate never warmed before now. Oh, wait it has. But this time, it’s different!
I suppose this scenario is as plausible as archeologists unleashing an ancient plague when they open an Egyptian tomb. Especially if the dig gets overrun by marauding, scavenging raccoon dogs.
Scientists have no idea what caused the previous warm periods, but they know for a fact that the current one is being caused by CO2. Why, because the models have proven it.
I just wish that was sarcasm, but I’ve been told precisely that by a number of warmunists.
It will make a change from viruses escaping from Chinese Labs making us ill.
If this was going to be a problem, I would have expected it to have been a problem during the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period, the Minoan Warm Period, the Egyptian Warm Period and especially a problem during the Holocene Optimum, all of which were warmer than it is today.
Not just warmer, but as much as 2 to 3 degrees warmer than today.
These scientists ? would not have even considered that possibility that the world has been much warmer than it is at present ..
Maybe it is time to defund some of this nonsense and for these people with science degrees to use them to actually make the world a better place in health or industry.
I know some scientists who holiday in Antarctica every summer .
Sorry ,they tell me they are doing research but it still looks like a holiday to me funded by the tax payer.
The number of so called climate scientists who are quite willing to reject any and all science that doesn’t fit the narrative is amazing.
It doesn’t matter how many proxies prove the existence of these warm periods and the Holocene Optimum. They will invent ever more bizarre reasons as to why these wayward proxies aren’t really telling us what they are plainly telling us.
Yes, we can look forward to human children being decimated just as they have been by canine distemper and feline AIDS and leukemia.
While some pathogens do cross the species barrier, they are more the exception than the rule.
As I recollect, one of the viable viruses that was activated specialized in infecting a species of giant amoeba. As is all too typical, alarmists come up with some remote possibility, say it ‘could’ happen, and then expect us to drop to our knees and surrender to their demands.
We should probably be on the alert. However, it hasn’t been shown that dormant pathogens that evolved before humans are any more of a threat than extant pathogens that can mutate.
From an Immunology perspective I doubt that any bacteria or virus from a mammoth would be an issue. Homo sapiens Co-existed with mammoths did they not? Our immune systems have probably not evolved much since then, we probably have T cells that can pattern match peptides from such viruses or bacteria and hence trigger a robust immune response. Also any bacteria are likely to be susceptible to antibiotics.
What it shows is that there is no end to the nonsense that can dress itself up as “peer reviewed research”. It suggests further that there are far too many people putting out worthless nonsense and pretending it adds something useful to the sum of human knowledge.
“I suggest genetically enhanced viruses being grown in Chinese laboratories with allegedly lax biosecurity are more of a threat to global health” the evidence for the origin of SARS-CoV-2 points to zoonotic crossover rather than a laboratory leak according to various virologists and immunologists.
Only to virologists dependent upon gain of function funding. There is no evidence of natural crossover and abundant evidence for a Wuhan coronavirus lab origin, despite Communist Party stonewalling. Please cite the evidence you believe supports zoonotic origin in the wild.
David Baltimore, world’s greatest living virologist, said the furin cleavage site sequence was a “smoking gun” for lab creation. He backed off after cries of outrage from his younger colleagues still dependent on dangerous, worse than worthless GoF “research”, which has not produced a single useful result.
Definitely true for SARS (civits) and MERS (camels). Very unclear for COVID 19. Wuhan lab was for sure doing gain of function research funded by Fauci via Ecosystems cutout. And they destroyed their lab sequences after the breakout. And the Wuhan wet market was mostly fish, not animals. And no intermediate animal has been identified even after 3 years of looking. And Fauci clearly got the lab leak theory squelched because not a good look for him. Same reason he denied the Wuhan research was gain of function when Dr. Paul said it was.
I wouldn’t say definitely for civets and SARS, but likely.
If the lax bio-security claim is true, it really doesn’t matter whether Covid originated in a lab. Its the next virus I was talking about.
That’s the problem with all communist led research policy. No one is allowed to criticize anything, so there is no real quality controls on operations because that REQUIRES criticism.
Ockham’s Razor suggests the lab-leak theory is most likely. For a long, thorough review read Matt Ridley’s book “Viral”.
For 5 min read, here is his Apr 2023 blog update:
For MERS & SARS-1 they found the animal host causing spillover within a few months.
Its been 3 years and thousands of specimens looking for SARS-2 –> nada, nothing.
1) China’s behavior since the outbreak has been just what you’d expect of a cover-up
& on amore humorous note
2) Someone more witty than I said: “They found the animal host for Covid! It was in a humanized mouse at the Wuhan lab”.
Hold on folks, we already have Rhinovirus……
I’ll get my coat.
Wooly rhinoceroses (nose horns) were closely related to living Sumatran rhinos, just bigger and hairier, so no worries. If the little jungle rhinos were gonna get us, they’d have done it by now.
A lot of Republican politicians have caught the RINO virus.
Do we commonly catch viruses from elephants?
Crossover tends to come from the sister group to our superorder (Euarchonotglires or Supraprimates), Laurastheria, which includes bats, carnivorans, pangolins, ungulates, whales, etc. These two superorders form magnaorder Boreoeutheria. Bats and bovids are especially dangerous zoonotic pathogen sources.
However, you are advised not to play with the dinosaurs. I have it on good authority: “My Brother Was An Only Child.”
“A warming climate could release ancient pathogens” and I could get run over by bus whilst sitting in my living room. I suspect the odds are about the same.
Sounds like someone has been watching too many sci-fi movies….
The permafrost has not stopped melting and freezing again and again for these last 12000 years because the Holocene was a suite of cold and warm periods.
One can be certain that if the wooly mammoths were infested by these purported viruses, these last ones didn’t wait until the 21th century for spreading in the animal reign.
This claim of Dr Claverie’s team is a nonsense:
No wonder ice sheets melted so rapidly.
Charles the 3rd’s father, the Duke of Edimbourg, dreamed he would die and re-incarnate in a deadly virus that would kill half of the world’s population.
“Nice try Philip-Covid, but you weren’t deadly enough… You should much more upgrade your lethality and try again, don’t lose hope ! Ask Wuhan laboratories, certainly they will help you.”
Apparently Philip’s attitude was very much modified by Ian Plimer, leading Australian geologist and author of “Green Murder”. King Charles of the climate clowns will be a bigger problem.
Now Britain is saddled with the jug-eared nitwit twits of the odious Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg dynasty for at least three generations.
Are there no standards for science anymore? How on earth can stuff like this get financed or published? It is crap.
If it is climate related and scary, it gets financed and published. That is what alarmists do. At least this paper did not commit academic misconduct like Marcott did in Science in 2013, or O’Leary, or Fabricius, or PMEL. All well documented in essays in ebook Blowing Smoke.
It was rather nice of the lead authors, Jean-Marie Alempic and Audrey Lartigue to include their retired colleague in the credits.
Major contributing factors to thawing mammoths are: removed vegetation revealing sink holes; & fossil hunters using pumped water to accelerate the extractions.
Ref: Episode of “Expedition unknown”.
Is this a long-nosed Pinocchio story?
“I suggest genetically enhanced viruses being grown in Chinese laboratories with allegedly lax biosecurity are more of a threat to global health, than the risk from a reindeer herder stubbing his toe on a dead mammoth.” Amen, oh by the way NIH is still financing Corina virus gain of function research. Out so called elites never learn and don’t give a damn about us peons.
I’ll put this new fear on my list of top 10,000 things to worry about- at the bottom of course. 🙂
This threat is new? Placer gold mining in the Klondyke began in the late 1800s, and continues. Miners have been discovering mammoth tusks ever since and there has been no unique infections.,
” Climate Change Could Cause Us Catch a Nasty Wooly Mammoth Virus ”
And what about fleas and lice? For sure Climate Change TM will increase them too!
Clearly we need to be more worried about irresponsible scientists with very poor judgment trying to make mostly innocuous viruses more dangerous to humans.
Mammoth carcasses are frequently found along the waterways of western interior Alaska. They are not now or ever have been imbedded in permafrost. There doesn’t seem to be any fear among the local Athabascans of being infected by whatever agents these cadavers might contain. They dig them up and try to profit from the tusks and bones.