Scientists revive 30,000-year-old virus from Siberian ice

The virus is 1.5 micrometers long and has a honeycomb structure at its opening. Credit: Julia Bartoli & Chantal Abergel; Information Génomique et Structurale, CNRS-AMU

Scientists have brought back to life a virus that was buried in ice for 30,000 years and is still infectious, a prominent scientific journal reports.

If the Earth's ice melts sufficiently, Nature warns, it could "trigger the return of other ancient viruses."

A French husband and wife team who discovered the large organism in Siberia have named it Pithovirus sibericum.

It was able to infect amoebae despite having been frozen for 30 millennia.