Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Welcome Back - 100,000 Year Old Microbes Revived by Scientists

Microbes recovered from ice samples dating back between 100,000 and 8 million years have returned to a living state and resumed growth, according to a report by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The older samples proved to be less successful than the younger ones and scientists have found that DNA is halved in samples over 1.1 million years old, with the oldest consisting of just 210 units instead of the more usual 3 million.

The research will help in learning how life survives in the extremes of earthly environments as well as how micro-organisms could possibly withstand conditions on other planets such as Mars.

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