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Giant viruses discovered in arctic region

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A team of Canadian scientists has discovered “giant viruses” in the Arctic. Time is limited as the site is threatened by global warming.

Canadian researchers at Laval University, Quebec“Giant viruses” were discovered in Lake Epishelf (“Epishelf” in English) in Milne Fjord, 800 km from the North Pole.

This lake has the peculiarity of floating above the Arctic Ocean, hence the saltiness – density – as reported Slate.

At this moment, the ice maintains balance by preventing wind or waves from mixing the different waters.

The samples recovered from the lake and the sequencing of the DNA enabled scientists to identify the viruses and microbes present in the water.

A site threatened by global warming

In an article published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, on August 25, the scientists reported elements of their research. In particular, they found a greater diversity of viruses in fresh water.

“Giant viruses” come from the Megaviricetes family and are larger than some bacteria.

These ‘giant’ viruses infect microalgae bordering saltwater, the team said. However, no details about the effects of this phenomenon are provided.

The group continues to research the strange site, but time is running out. Of course, rising temperatures can lead to melting ice that protects the lake’s unique ecology.

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