Scientists Revive Worm Frozen for 46,000 Years in Siberian Permafrost

Scientists have recently discovered and revived a worm that was frozen 46.000 years ago. This worm was frozen in the Siberian permafrost and was taken out from a depth of 40 metres (131.2 feet) below the surface. 

The discovery was published in PLOS Genetics and it states: “Recently, nematode individuals have been reanimated from Siberian permafrost after remaining in cryptobiosis. Preliminary analysis indicates that these nematodes belong to the genera Panagrolaimus and Plectus.” 

Source: PLOS Genetics

The worm was revived simply by rehydrating it with water. After a few hours, the worm began to wriggle and move around. The scientists were surprised to find that the worm was still alive and active after so many years.

The worm’s survival is a remarkable discovery. The scientists believe that the worm vewas able to survi by entering a state of cryptobiosis. 

In cryptobiosis, organisms can reduce their metabolic rate to a very low level, which allows them to survive in harsh environments.

The study mentions: “Survival in extreme environments for prolonged periods is a challenge that only a few organisms, are capable of. It is not well understood, which molecular and biochemical pathways are utilized by such cryptobiotic organisms, and how long they might suspend life.” 

The discovery of the revived worm is known to be a significant scientific discovery. This will help scientists to gain new insights into the ability of organisms to survive in extreme environments. 

It also raises the possibility that other organisms that might have been frozen for thousands of years may still be alive.

The authors mention in the paper “Our findings here are important for the understanding of evolutionary processes because generation times could be stretched from days to millennia, and long-term survival of individuals of species can lead to the refoundation of otherwise extinct lineages.”

To conclude, this new scientific discovery can have a major impact on our understanding of life on earth. It serves as a reminder that there are many things on this planet that need to be discovered. 

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Categories: Trends
Source: HIS Education

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