Researchers discovered microbes in glacier ice that can cause severe illnesses

Fareeha Arshad
Photo by Alto Crew on Unsplash

Researchers have recently found less than a thousand unknown microorganisms present inside the glacier ice of the Tibetan Plateau. Upon further investigations, scientists confirmed that a few of the microbes trapped inside the ice have the potential to give rise to new pandemics in case the ice starts to melt. With increasing global warming, scientists now fear the drastic climate change more than ever: the impending pandemic these microbes can cause.

In a recent Chinese Academy of Sciences study, several ice samples were tested from more than twenty Tibetan Plateau glaciers. This glacier range stretches from the Himalayan mountain ranges to the Taklamakan Desert. The genetic analysis of the microbes included algae, archaebacteria, and fungi present in the glaciers – among which most species studied were discovered for the first time.

Though the researchers are unsure how long the microbes have been trapped inside the ice, previous studies have demonstrated that microorganisms can be trapped inside ice structures for over 10,000 years. With the ever-increasing melting of ice glaciers everywhere, globalists and environmentalists fear the repercussions of the release of possibly dangerous microbes into the environment.

Also, the rapid rise in global temperatures has forced scientists to believe that the day is not very far when these unknown microbes may result in even worse pandemic conditions than the world recently saw. Furthermore, because scientists know very little about the newly discovered species, they are still unsure of the extent of their virulence.

Regardless, researchers have concluded that even if the pathogens escape the icy glaciers, they will still be able to transfer their virulent genetic compositions to other bacteria they encounter and therefore prove very dangerous. However, if they become extinct before their genetic makeup comes in contact with any other species, we may be able to avoid the impending doom.

Comments / 341

Published by

I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I write about current affairs, history, science, and lifestyle.

Texas State

More from Fareeha Arshad

Comments / 0