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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's a real-life version of ''The Thing," on a smaller scale.

"The Thing," is a wonderful 1982 John Carpenter sci-fi movie in which a malevolent life form is dug up and thawed from the polar ice, after being frozen for 100,000 years. The scientists who do the thawing do not enjoy the experience.

Now, in a "life imitates art" moment, scientists have dug up and thawed a giant, infectious virus which had been buried and dormant in the Siberian permafrost for 30,000 years. Like the creature in The Thing, the virus wasn't harmed by its long ice nap.

Let's hope it wasn't similarly annoyed.  :)



Info on the newly-thawed virus (which does not infect humans, btw):

http://www.nature.com/news/giant-virus-resurrected-from-30-000-year-old-ice-1.14801

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140303-giant-virus-permafrost-siberia-pithovirus-pandoravirus-science/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/03/03/frozen-virus-permafrost/5902883/

http://www.newser.com/story/183212/giant-virus-revives-after-30000-years.html 



(PS: Here's the original "The Thing:" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084787/. It features some fantastic, pre-cgi special effects, many of which still hold up even today. There also was a sucky remake of the movie in 2011 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0905372/); it's not worth seeing.)