Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Thaw

Amanda and I watched The Thaw last night.  Good film.  Quite enjoyable for a lower-budget sci-fi horror.  One thing I love about the film is the potential for actuality of the scenario (A mammoth thawing out of a glacier contains organisms that were preserved some twenty thousand years ago, the organisms are small vertebrates that lay their eggs inside of mammals and then the eggs grow until causing death of the host and release of lots of little organisms, the outbreak kills a bunch of people in our modern time).  For the part of the film, the outbreak occurs in an isolated habitat in northern Canada, so it's not a wide-scale problem, but the end of the film leaves off with the potential for that occurring.

I've often wondered what might happen if some ancient virus or bacterium that is potentially pathogenic for us would be released due to the changes in our climate.  It might not sound very likely, but I think there definitely could be a potential for such a thing occurring.  We've seen in many instances where microbes that were preserved in salt or ice some long time ago have been shown to be quite viable after all of this time.  It is possible that some organism that was pathogenic to us long ago is still preserved under the ices formed during the last glacial period.  If current warming trends continue, I can't help but wonder if we may see some viral and bacterial outbreaks that are caused by this.