It seems that mankind keeps trying to open an ancient can of worms (in this case a can of lost harmful viruses). It is rather unbelievable. French scientists have announced they found a new prehistoric virus in the frozen Siberian wastelands. The virus is called Mollivirus sibericum, translated as ‘soft virus from Siberia’, and measures at 0.6 microns, just over a thousandth of a millimeter. Thus, it is officially termed a ‘giant virus’. It is also a monster among other viruses, with 523 genetic proteins, while, for comparison, a flu virus genome has only 11.
So now, these crazy scientists are planning to bring it back to life. Why? No one knows, but they promise to make sure that the giant virus won’t harm anyone.
However, some other more responsible scientists do not agree with such meddling and are quite concerned over what might happen. One of the lead researchers, Jean-Michel Claverie, told AFP:
“A few viral particles that are still infectious may be enough, in the presence of a vulnerable host, to revive potentially pathogenic viruses.”
He added that “viral particles which are still infectious can, in the presence of a receptive host, lead to the resurgence of potentially pathogenic viruses in Arctic regions.” He adds:
“If we are not careful, and we industrialize these areas without putting safeguards in place, we run the risk of one day waking up viruses such as smallpox that we thought were eradicated.”
It is the fourth type of prehistoric virus found since 2003, but this is becoming a serious issue as scientists are now set to ‘wake up’ the virus. Researchers have often ‘resurrected’ ancient viruses to find out more about them: for instance, back in 2004, US scientists revived the notorious Spanish flu virus, which killed tens of millions of people until early last century.
The revival will happen by placing the virus with single-cell amoeba, which will serve as its host, researchers said, two years after they ‘woke up’ Pithovirus sibericum, in a petri dish.
The play with viruses is the play with Murphy’s Law “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”
And it did when just last week, Secretary of the Army John McHugh issued a memo this week ordering the closure of biodefense research labs in Ohio, Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia and Utah, as well as facilities as far-flung as Egypt and Peru, after a military facility in Utah inadvertently shipped Bacillus anthracis to 88 labs in the U.S., and those labs then sent shipments out to additional facilities abroad. A total of 194 labs in 50 states and nine countries received the specimens in May. So now we have samples of live anthrax sent out to dozens of labs across the globe.
And if one thinks that all this is not serious enough, just take the Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever outbreak of 2014. It is listed as the biggest one in history with almost 9000 reported human cases and a 53% rate of fatality. With Ebola scientists are not even sure how it got transmitted to even believe that it was generated in a laboratory:
“it is not completely clear how Ebola is transmitted. There is a conjecture that the virus is transmitted to people from wild animals. However, by reason of the high mortality among them, it is impossible that these animals are the reservoir host of EVD. The conviction is that fruit bats of the pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts even though the reservoir of EVD has not yet been identified (Groseth et al. 2007) …the subject may cause a plethora of arguments is that this virus may be a laboratory generated virus. It may be assumed that all these could be a conspiracy or scaremongering theory. Nevertheless, scientists do not know much about this virus except a few basic characteristics.
There are in fact several strains of the Ebola virus: Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV), Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV), Reston ebolavirus (RESTV), Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus (TAFV) and Uganda ebolavirus (BDBV). In the case of the last outbreak, all listed cases have been infected by EBOV. The latter is the most lethal of all. It was named after the fact that the first formal record was made in Zaire in 1976, presenting an 88% rate of fatality; even though 2014’s outbreak is estimated to be the deadliest Ebola outbreak by far (Gire et al. 2014).
And while Europe and the United States have had the confidence that Ebola will not enter their territory, fact is, it did, when on September 30, the first Ebola case was diagnosed in Dallas, Texas (McCarthy 2014). The same close-call happened in European countries when a Spanish missionary contracted the virus in Liberia (Gulland 2014). Germany has also recorded the third patient of this deadly disease and the first human death on October 14.
And then you have the ability to disseminate disease through aerosol or airborne small-droplet nuclei would render filoviruses a potential biologic warfare threat (Salvaggio & Baddley 2004). According to some researchers who have been involved with Soviet biological weapons, Ebola and some other viruses have been already weaponized in this manner by the former Soviet Union (Miller et al. 2002).
No matter what scientists agree or disagree on, one thing is certain: Murphy’s Law. On this one, they all agree, and when it comes to the Bible warning of “plagues in diverse places”, will that warning ring a bell? If it did, why then would they play with death? Mankind thought that one day they would eradicate all diseases to only find out that they at times create it.