A few months ago I was watching television, and the setting was in Alaska. The activities of the show involved thawing permafrost and digging down to bedrock in pursuit of gold. On the episode that gave me pause for concern a mammoth tusk was uncovered.
The problem I am concerned with is whether bacteria are cryogenically preserved in the permafrost where organic material was flash frozen. In addition, a virus remaining dormant in frozen material is another possibility. These could easily have been bacteria and viruses associated with long eradicated diseases, but lying in suspended animation in the permafrost. When thawed, bacteria and viruses that predate human life could easily become viable, and the human race could have no natural immunization to prevent disease from spreading. This would be just as dangerous as having bacteria and viruses come from outer space, alien to us as a species.
No, I know of no evidence of an immediate danger, but it is a plausible scenario. And global warming can be the trigger to release whatever lies dormant in the permafrost, nature’s freezer. So, we must be vigilant to the possibility.
I did run this problem by two biology professors at the college since this is outside my fields of physics and mathematics, and they agreed it is possible to have frozen organic material with viable bacteria and viruses.