May 5, 2017

Dormant bacteria trapped in ice could be released by climate change

Sven Kaestner / AP

As the world warms, permafrost soils that have been frozen for thousands years are melting, releasing ancient viruses and bacteria that have lain dormant, reports the BBC.

The first case: Last August, in a remote part of the Siberian tundra in the Arctic Circle, a 12-year-old boy died and at least 20 people were hospitalized after being infected by anthrax.

  • The theory: Over 75 years ago, a reindeer infected with anthrax died and its frozen corpse became trapped under a layer of frozen soil, or permafrost. The remains stayed there until a heatwave in 2016 melted the permafrost. The exposed carcass then released its anthrax into nearby water and soil, and made its way into the food supply.

Why this matters: Scientists worry this will not be an isolated case. As the Earth continues to warm, more permafrost will melt, and expose years of dormant diseases.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers as South Korean cases surge

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 114 new deaths since Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 55 mins ago - Health

Massive MGM data breach: Guests' personal details posted on hacking site

The MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

An MGM Resorts security breach last summer resulted in the personal details of 10.6 million guests published on a hacking forum this week, ZDNet first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Federal government employees and high-profile guests were affected by the breach, according to analysis by data breach monitoring service Under the Bridge and ZDNet — including officials from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Microsoft staffers and singer Justin Bieber.

George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla., seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.