The ice in the glaciers of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau freezes countless long-dead microbes. In 2015, a team of U.S. and Chinese scientists drilled ice core samples into a glacier that drilled 50 meters. Five years later, researchers’ analysis of ice core samples found evidence of ancient viruses, 28 of which were new.
The study, published in the Journal of Biology Preprint, provides insightinto into the evolution and climate history of the Earth.
According to the study, there are no special procedures to help avoid contamination during the drilling, handling and transportation of ice cores. The researchers designed and tested a three-step procedure to remove surface contaminants.
In a room at minus 5oC, the researchers sawed off 0.5 cm and cleaned it twice with ethanol and water.