Scientists located in Novosibirsk laboratory "Vector" together with colleagues from the Yakut North-Eastern Federal University began to study prehistoric viruses found in the remains of a horse that lived in the territory of present-day Yakutia about 5000 years ago.
Researchers will have to analyze the tissues of other animals of the Paleolithic era (including mammoths), which continue to be found with enviable constancy in the thawing Siberian permafrost.
The project participants intend to pay main attention to bacteriological research, or, more precisely, to the study of prehistoric paleoviruses found in animal remains.
In the recent past, the Vector laboratory was engaged in the development of biological weapons (one of the last samples of the smallpox virus on Earth is still stored here), and now, being one of the divisions of Rospotrebnadzor, it is developing vaccines. Its latest achievement is the Epivaccoron coronavirus vaccine, created last year and already launched into mass production.
Scientists from all over the world warn that the Arctic is heating up twice as fast as other regions of our planet, which poses a danger to local wildlife. In particular, the melting of permafrost releases huge amounts of methane, which enhances the greenhouse effect. But besides this, the frozen remains of ancient animals rise to the surface, which contain equally ancient viruses and bacteria, against which we have no immunity.