In what is being hailed as a major scientific breakthrough two worms which have been frozen for tens of thousands of years have been brought back to life.
A team of Russian scientists working in conjunction with Princeton University collected and defrosted some three hundred prehistoric worms in a laboratory in the Institute of Physico-Chemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science in Moscow to see if any of them would show any signs of life. For the most part, the worms, which primarily came from Yakutia the coldest region in Russia, didn’t show any sign of reviving with the exception of two female worms.
Two Worms Considered The Oldest Living Animals On The Planet
The nematodes, also known as roundworms, are now considered to be the oldest living creatures on the planet after waking up and starting to show signs and movement and even beginning to eat. One of the worms was discovered in permafrost in a squirrel burrow in Pleistocene Park in Yakutia and is believed to be around 32,000 years old. The other was also found in permafrost near to the Alazeya River in 2015 and is believed to be around 47,000 years old.
Major Implications For Cryomedicine And Astrobiology
This small victory by the scientists could have enormous implications, the authors of the paper have explained. Their investigations have proved that multi-cellular organisms are indeed capable of surviving tens of thousands of years in a frozen state. The next stage of the investigation will focus on what genetic ability the nematodes have which allows them to survive for such a long period of time in this kind of state.
Parasitic worms frozen in Siberia since the Pleistocene age (up to 42,000 years ago) were brought back to life and are eating and moving around again. I think this was the plot for at least 3 episodes of the X-Files. https://t.co/dbqbrTOAFN
— Spike ⛏ Rundle (@flyosity) July 26, 2018
The results of the study could have major implications in a number of burgeoning and still little understood scientific fields. It is feasible that the biology of these tiny and ancient creatures could lead to huge steps forward in the fields of cryomedicine, cryobiology and astrobiology.