10 Feb 2018

Could 'zombie pathogens' threaten humanity?

From This Way Up, 12:35 pm on 10 February 2018

"Now there are some tantalizing hints that the Arctic is...filled with pathogens even more dangerous than anthrax. Across the permafrost - which covers an area twice the size of the U.S. - there are tens of thousands of bodies preserved in the frozen soil. Some of these people died of smallpox. And some died of the 1918 flu - a strain of influenza that swept the globe and killed more than 50 million people."- Michaeleen Doucleff of NPR

Could a killer virus dormant for centuries under the ice come back to life?

With climate change thawing the permafrost at the poles and revealing long-hidden animal carcasses and human remains, Michaeleen Doucleff of NPR has travelled to the ice to see if a 'zombie pathogen' like anthrax, smallpox or the Spanish flu could again emerge to threaten humanity.