24,000-Year-Old Microorganism Revived From Frozen Siberian Permafrost

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A bdelloid rotifer feeding on algae and other microorganisms, seen under a microscope. Eduardo Baena / iStock / Getty Images Plus Scientists in Russia have revived a bdelloid rotifer — a type of multicellular microorganism that’s accustomed to wet environments — after the invertebrate spent 24,000 years frozen 11 feet beneath the Siberian permafrost. According to a new study published Monday in Current Biology , past research has suggested these tiny creatures can slow their metabolisms down to almost stagnant and survive frozen for up to 10 years. Now, scientists from the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science found that rotifers can survive much longer than that. The 24,000-year-old rotifer wasn’t barely alive, either. After thawing, it was able to reproduce and feed, the study authors stated in a press release. In the past, scientists have unearthed dead but well-preserved mammals, including woolly mammoths — which were still around when the study’s bdelloid rotifer first froze — and extinct cave bears from permafrost , which is thawing in many parts of the Arctic due to climate change, CNN said . They’ve also discovered and revived a 30,000-year-old nematode worm, Arctic moss and some plants. "Now, the […]

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