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Sleeping in the frozen soil for 46,000 years! This creature was resurrected by scientists

Release time:

2023-08-04

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According to a paper in the latest issue of PLoS Genetics, a small group of nematodes taken from Siberian permafrost "came back to life" after being thawed, and although they only continued to survive for less than a month, they reproduced More than 100 generations of new nematodes were produced. These nematodes are about 46,000 years old, the same age as the woolly mammoth.

 

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The discovery could spur thinking about a third scenario between life and death. Many netizens said, "Science fiction thrillers all start like this" and "It would be scary if they could continue to reproduce."

 

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According to reports, the first author of the paper, Emeritus Professor Kurtz Challia of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Germany, said that these small nematodes remain dormant for much longer than people imagined. Scientists think they can only stay dormant for 40 years at most.

These nematodes belong to a long-extinct species that do not die in the permafrost, but remain in a dormant state called cryptobiosis.

 

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Cryptobiosis is a state of life in which organisms extremely reduce their metabolism in response to extreme weather conditions. For example, when cryptozoans face drought, they will "dehydrate" and stop reproduction, development, metabolism and other activities. But when the environment improves, it can recover again.

 

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Kurzcharya said that single-cell organisms such as viruses have been shown to be able to survive in a state of cryptobiosis for millions of years, but for animals, 46,000 years of cryptobiosis is already the current record. .

It is reported that these nematodes, which had been sleeping for more than 40,000 years, were dug out 130 feet underground near the Kolyma River in eastern Russia in the early 21st century. This group of scientists first published a paper describing this phenomenon in 2018: After they placed these frozen nematodes in a petri dish at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21.1 degrees Celsius) for a few weeks, some of them began to revive and reproduce.

Kurzcharia said the paper could prompt people to think about a third scenario between life and death. Kurzcharia also said that although we now have a better understanding of how to achieve the state between life and death, we are still a long way from using this science to resurrect frozen humans or dinosaurs. way to go.

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