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zeroversion t1_isw6r4t wrote

I was quite worried about this, but I heard a talk with an epidemiologist (I think) who talked about how unfrozen ancient pathogens aren’t as big a threat as we might assume. This is because they are genetically adapted to an ecosystem that no longer exists and animal and plant life whos immune system have since adapted over the years, making the ancient pathogen not equipped to affect the new life. This person compared it to accidentally plugging in a floppy disc with a virus from the 80s into a current day computer. The 80s virus wouldn’t know what to do.

I don’t think this is no longer scary. I just have hope that it’s not as dire as I thought before.

I’ll edit and link the article or podcast if I can find it.


taoleafy t1_iswig15 wrote

This may be true but sudden climactic shifts in the past have spurred ecological chaos that have fomented plagues. Plague of Justinian, for example, came in the wake of volcanic eruptions that darkened the skies and cooled the earth. That shift spurred rodents carrying the bacteria to go beyond their normal range in search of food, thus bringing the disease in contact with population centers.


[deleted] t1_iswqsqk wrote



Ok_Kale_2509 t1_iswy5wa wrote

You are forgetting the scale we are talking about. Invasive species often don't do well in environments. When they do the area is usually very similar to their home. Meanwhile that ice has been frozen for millions of years. There were very few mammals when that was warm. While I won't say it's impossible for them to effect modern creatures, it makes sense that it won't be as easy as an animal moving to another part of the world better suited for them.


onlycrazypeoplesmile t1_iszmrm4 wrote

Sod's Law dictates that because those ancient pathogen aren't coded for our habitat that that may just be the reason they're potentially deadly.

Either way, the Covid-23 Pro X is gonna be fun.


Scantronacon t1_it2v4m0 wrote

Can a species with a weak immune system contract these old pathogens?


ulol_zombie t1_isvz9k8 wrote

I'm worried about The Thing


limbylegs t1_isw3jat wrote

We need Macready


moststupider t1_iswhq0m wrote

How will we know it’s Macready?


ulol_zombie t1_iswo69f wrote

Why don't we just wait here a little while...

...and see what happens.


BoneFriend t1_iswv4n5 wrote

Check whether that bottle he’s drinking is full of liquor or petrol


Arlitto t1_isw31vf wrote

Bring it, I'm ready to die. I can't afford to live, anyway.


WeirdlyStrangeish t1_iswb5yz wrote

So I'm planning an Antarctic expedition to get first hand knowledge of how much of a threat these viruses pose to modern man, and also like how much worse can a frozen landscape be than this fuckin place. Interested?


bespectacledbengal t1_iswpbdy wrote

I went to Antarctica and it was terrific. We saw so many penguins.

The weird thing about it is there are no borders and nobody owns any of the land so you can just roll up to someone’s research camp and say hi and it’s on them if they want to come out and say hi back.

I didn’t come back with any viruses though.


Eponymous-Username t1_iswqis6 wrote

How do you do this? Tourism, or special vocational qualifications?


bespectacledbengal t1_iswqkms wrote

You just pay a tour company and they do everything. It’s not crazy expensive. You can get your passport stamped in Antarctica but it’s more for fun since there’s no government that runs everything there.

And if you’re in the military in, say, Chile, they actually hand out pretty hefty bonuses for people who put themselves on the roster there because not a lot of people want to do it, I guess.


WeirdlyStrangeish t1_iswrf9p wrote

Well that's actually significantly cooler and real than my plan. Do you have to get like a ton of super cold weather gear? Are there hotels?


bespectacledbengal t1_isws987 wrote

If you’re doing a small tour, not part of a large group, they’ll just get you space at one of the research stations (i.e. I bunked with the folks from Chile since that’s where I flew out from) — but if you take a boat instead of fly, you just sleep on the boat


R_Prime t1_isz5chi wrote

Hmm, I thought the only tourism options these day were the scenic flights and the cruises that just go kinda near it.

I need to look into this more.


bespectacledbengal t1_isz5r0u wrote

nah, you can take a plane that lands there


R_Prime t1_iszab32 wrote

Holy potatoes, they ain’t cheap! Looks like they only go from South America though.

I live in an Antarctic gateway city so I had hoped I’d be able to go there from this side of the planet, but the only options other than the scenic flights are research expeditions, which I don’t have the qualifications for haha.


kingcrabmeat t1_isw4u3j wrote

The rest of us don't want to die though


mekkavelli t1_isw7kw6 wrote

that’s kind of a you problem. bring on the pandemic plague!!


RevMungoose t1_isw8c9p wrote

Zombie polar bears.... good....good Y2k...911...Afghanistan...Iraq....hurricanes...nuclear war... now zombie polar bears.... this is fine


HacksawJimDuggen t1_iszomvo wrote

as long as its just polar bears i guess im cool with that in the lower 48


chemistrynerd1994 OP t1_isvwbst wrote

From the article:

"The next pandemic may come not from bats or birds but from matter in melting ice, according to new data.

Genetic analysis of soil and lake sediments from Lake Hazen, the largest high Arctic freshwater lake in the world, suggests the risk of viral spillover – where a virus infects a new host for the first time – may be higher close to melting glaciers.

The findings imply that as global temperatures rise owing to climate change, it becomes more likely that viruses and bacteria locked up in glaciers and permafrost could reawaken and infect local wildlife, particularly as their range also shifts closer to the poles."


dg5818 t1_isw4rv8 wrote

Dwight: There's too many people in this planet. We need a new plague.

If ain't the the high rising sea levels, mass flooding that the glaciers will give us but viruses too lol 💀💀💀


scarby2 t1_isxp3vw wrote

Plague, famine, war, birth control. Pick one.


Anokant t1_isw6x3o wrote

This was the kind of the premise of the book Cold Plague. A prion frozen in ice gets released, but it's due to a company melting the glacier to sell its water for healing purposes.


ishitar t1_isxblun wrote

We have nanoplastic passing the blood brain barrier and depositing amyloid proteins in our brain at current miniscule concentrations and 10 billion tons of it left in the wings to break down and bio accumulate. One of the things i've realized these past few weeks is we don't need fucking prions to do us in, we are already done as those concentrations get higher and higher.


xXSpaceturdXx t1_iswfyus wrote

The first domino of climate change has been knocked over. I don’t think there’s any stopping what’s going to come next, we are in trouble. We’re going to be seeing a lot of plagues, famine, floods, disasters and disease in the near future. Past generations knew the consequences but they didn’t care. They got paid, screw the rest of us right.


healthychad t1_isw57v9 wrote

This is so sad because we are sorely unprepared for it. We can’t even cure hepatitis and aids or even herpes yet, and then we have new viruses like Covid and monkeypox that come along and are barely attended to by the half ass vaccines that act as little more than a half hearted piss on a bonfire. If there are a whole bunch more in the ice then that’s just going to show how inadequate our medicine really is.

We need to find true cures or we will suffer the consequences. We have to fund viral research and we have to do it now. Gene editing is going to become our best friend.

The best way to start is to cure herpes because billions of people have it, billions of people hate it, and it’s an old virus that is tricky so it will definitely make it so all cylinders must be firing. The lessons we would learn from that will tell us so much about viral infection it’s basically like a cheat code to filling the viral encyclopedia.


chojinra t1_iswmtud wrote

Bah, they’ve been promising me parasitic mutating super germs for a while now, but have I gotten my vampiric penguin apocalypse yet? No!


Eponymous-Username t1_iswqfgs wrote

The only rational action is a pre-emptive strike. Nuke the glaciers.


WowIndescribable t1_iswucwf wrote

Why aren’t good/beneficial things released? Why does it always seem to be harmful ones?


Trackmaster15 t1_isxrle0 wrote

I think that this is explained by the fact that over millions of years of evolution, we evolved for the current environment that we're in right now. We're best adapted for the global conditions that we're seeing at the moment. If we change the planet, it might be better suitable for another hypothetical human race that might evolve millions of years from now, but for us, its just not appropriate.


GwynbleiddSilver t1_isygn70 wrote

Glaciers have been melting for decades and we haven't seen one yet.


alexasux t1_isw5376 wrote

Oh, cant wait for the plague of madness to come about


Scoobydoomed t1_iswbo21 wrote

I’m not really worried, it’s not like there is global warming or the ice caps are melting or anything. /s


Malaccan_maraca t1_iswtwzs wrote

It's as likely that we'll find new classes of antibiotics (or the like) there as we'll find some new plague.

And neither of those outcomes are likely. Why catastrophise over something with such uncertain outcomes?


e-maz1ng t1_isx04lc wrote

LolololololololololoLol bill gates apostles.

Simply put, no.


Daydream_Meanderer t1_isx2krb wrote

I remember reading these articles about 15 years ago when a carcass unfroze in Siberia and released anthrax. And articles like this come up like annually.

Is it possible? Yes. It’s also annoying to read about it over and over again stoking fears that it might happen. I’d prefer to just be made aware when it does happen if it does rather than speculate all the time and be anxious about everything bad that could happened every year of my life. It’s like I left religion to not live in fear of an unknown power. Now science is my religion? Fack.


Mofoman3019 t1_isy36cg wrote

They've been saying this for years.
Come on, do it already.


Mikebjackson t1_isy636y wrote

Oh yeah baby. Keep us scared of future ghosts. Mmmm so good.


farticustheelder t1_it5jy1t wrote

If a Roman Legion intent on mayhem materialized in Manhattan it would be taken down by street cops in 10 minutes.

Duh? 2,000 years of arm race make the old guys obsolete. Ancient viruses and bacteria should not fare well against modern immune systems.


FuturologyBot t1_isw17u8 wrote

The following submission statement was provided by /u/chemistrynerd1994:

From the article:

"The next pandemic may come not from bats or birds but from matter in melting ice, according to new data.

Genetic analysis of soil and lake sediments from Lake Hazen, the largest high Arctic freshwater lake in the world, suggests the risk of viral spillover – where a virus infects a new host for the first time – may be higher close to melting glaciers.

The findings imply that as global temperatures rise owing to climate change, it becomes more likely that viruses and bacteria locked up in glaciers and permafrost could reawaken and infect local wildlife, particularly as their range also shifts closer to the poles."

Please reply to OP's comment here:


nattyboh1026 t1_isw4hqu wrote

Reminds me of that X-files episode “Ice”. We’re boned.


Meltrox0 t1_isw55gx wrote

Hell yeah! That’s the last one I needed in my apocalypse bingo card! What do I win?


TrollGoo t1_iswxuim wrote

What are the Vegas odds on another gain of function accident vs prehistoric sniffles?


human_state t1_isx2cu8 wrote

We’ve known this for years


undersight t1_isx5whx wrote

No I’m pretty sure the next few viruses will continue to come out of China.


timbee71 t1_isxbq75 wrote

Not a problem—disinfect the entire thingamajig!


SeeIKindOFCare t1_isxtweq wrote

Aren’t older viruses, weaker than newer diseases


Sevith123 t1_isz0hqy wrote

new study shows the next pandemic could come from outer space! New study shows the next pandemic could come from Yellowstone volcano.


PhillyCSteaky t1_iszx7he wrote

They better hurry up. The election is only three weeks away!


user_x9000 t1_iswibw2 wrote

No shit Sherlock. We have known and feared that for a while. We just don't care.


oodly-doodly t1_iswwrta wrote

FINALLY, something to look forward too! .......................................................................................................................................


lionheart4life t1_isxj9o8 wrote

I'm ready to schedule my first 3 booster shots now, in advance.


GSV_Zero_Gravitas t1_isxl1ky wrote

I'm just reading How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu and it's exactly about this.


IAmSixNine t1_isy7thv wrote

Pretty sure this was already covered in the TV Series The Last Ship. They had to go to the artic to find the primordial strain to get the cure.


Ryshoe8 t1_iszl4n9 wrote

One thing drives me crazy about people against combatting climate change is it doesn't matter if it's man made or not, it doesn't matter if our climate has changed in cycles over time, all the matters is it's happening and there are extreme dangers to human life. We have to do everything possible to keep our climate hospitable for human life. Period, end of story, no f*cking argument.


Obvious_Bookkeeper27 t1_it03b25 wrote

I remember writing a story in 2018 centered around this premise, and it involved 3 main characters. I never did take further steps with it but friends and family said it was really good. One of the few stories I wrote that I was proud of.


PaPaGoldfish t1_isx31u6 wrote

Well no shit, I've been saying that for years


OMMad t1_isxk6d9 wrote

Guys are we screwed because I'm worried for my unborn child...


geneticeffects t1_isxssrz wrote

Great. Yeah. Do that. Fucking hell… We are full-speed toward the wall.


LordoftheExiled t1_isw4zjg wrote

OK NWO... pretend the next man made virus came from melting glaciers. Just like covid came from a bat and not a china lab.


FortuneOfLight t1_isw5dvj wrote

Bio labs have that beat, next lump of BS please. Remind me when it doesn’t snow in winter and be under 0 F, Thanks.