|By Karen Saltos | 12 months ago|
Scientists say worms frozen in permafrost for 42,000 years have come back to life. They coaxed two roundworms back to existence after thawing the ice that encased them.
They did this in Petri dishes in a laboratory at the Institute of Physical-Chemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science, near Moscow, Russia. The Russian team worked with geoscientists from Princeton University to analyze more than 300 frozen worms to find appropriate candidates.
According to researchers, only two worms contained viable nematodes. They found one in permafrost near the Alazeya River in 2015. They found the other one in a prehistoric squirrel burrow in Duvanny Yar Outcrop in The Kolyma River in 2002.
The nematodes showed signs of life after they defrosted. These signs included moving and eating said a report on the findings cited by the Siberian Times.
This proves the ability of multicellular organisms to survive long-term in a state of natural cryoconservation (intention of conservation of the breed). It also suggests that Pleistocene nematodes have some adaptive mechanisms that may be of scientific importance.
The experiment could lead to a breakthrough in the fields of cryonics and astrobiology. It shows the ability of multi-cellular organisms to survive for a long time.
The end goal is to keep people on ice for centuries at a time, long enough to allow for long-term interplanetary exploration. Some scientists argue that cryonics bridges the gap between science-fiction and reality.