Worms frozen in permafrost for 42,000 years have come back to life and are eating

Shane McGlaun - Jul 27, 2018, 7:42 am CST
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Worms frozen in permafrost for 42,000 years have come back to life and are eating

Scientists have made a discovery that is quite mind-blowing. Roundworms found in the permafrost in two areas of Siberia have come back to life in Petri dishes. These worms had been frozen in the permafrost for tens of thousands of years, since the Pleistocene age. Scientists working on the research say that 300 prehistoric worms were analyzed and that these two were shown to contain viable nematodes.

The nematodes showed signs of life after being defrosted. Scientists say the worms started moving and then eating again. One of the worms was discovered in an ancient squirrel burrow in the wall of the Duvanny Yar outcrop in the lower reaches of the Kolyma River. That worm is 32,000 years old.

The other worm was found in the permafrost near Alazeya River in 2015 and is about 41,700 years old. These two nematodes are the oldest living animals on the planet and both are believed to be female. The worms came back to life in a lab at The Institute of Physico-Chemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science.

Scientists say that the ability of the worms to survive tens of thousands of years in cryobiosis under natural conditions of cryoconservation could be a boon to science. These nematodes could have adaptive mechanisms that could be of value in science for things like cryomedicine, cryobiology, and astrobiology.

There were multiple institutions involved in the research including The Institute of Physico-Chemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science; Moscow State University; Pertsov White Sea Biological Station, part of Moscow State University; the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and Princeton University Department of Geosciences. This reminds me of John Carpenter’s movie “The Thing.”

SOURCE: Siberian Times


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