Frozen lands andappear as inert environments, immobilized by the cold. But they keep in them all kinds of traces of the past, especially microorganisms. have unearthed bacteria and their phages, viruses that infect only bacteria, some 14,000 years old from the Guliya Glacier in Tibet.
Getting these ancient microorganisms to speak is not easy, but scientists have been able to deduce some information from their genes. Obviously, these, all unique, proliferated in extreme environments. The phages discovered were specialists in infections in cold climates. They lived in symbiosis with plants or in the soil and therefore are not able to infect animals.
This information is invaluable for paleobiologists who are interested in past climates, but also for other scientists who are looking more towards the future. With theand the massive melting of glaciers, microorganisms like these will be , some of which could be pathogenic to the life that developed during their dormancy.
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