Frozen in Time, a Giant Virus
Earlier this year, researchers recovered a 30,000-year-old virus from a section of Siberian permafrost. The specimen was huge (for a virus)—large enough to be seen through a regular light microscope. Plant pathologist James Van Etten, who studies giant viruses at the University of Nebraska, describes the find and talks about what the world’s giant viruses might be able to tell biologists about the evolution of life on earth.
James L. Van Etten is William B. Allington Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska.