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Scientists Resuscitate 41,000-Year-Old Worm. Here's How.
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Scientists Resuscitate 41,000-Year-Old Worm. Here's How.
Scientists are uncovering, thawing and resuscitating various life forms, some of which are older than modern human civilization, as glaciers recede.Tatiana Vishnivetskaya, a microbiologist at the University of Tennessee, reported in 2018 the discovery of a 41,000-year-old segmented nematode worm her team retrieved from deep below the Siberian permafrost, The Washington Post reported Sunday.The worm wriggled back to life upon thawing, Vishnivetskaya reported. This nematode measured half a millimeter long and sported a brain and nervous system. It is more complex than the single-celled organisms scientists have thawed and resuscitated in the past, according to The Post.“Of course we were surprised and very excited,” Vishnivetskaya told the newspaper.“These buggers survive just about everything,” Gaetan Borgonie, a nematode researcher at Extreme Life Isyensya in Belgium, told The Post. Nematodes are known to survive inhospitable climates, according to Borgonie. He has found communities of these resilient worms thriving 2 miles under the Earth’s surface in South African mine shafts, according to Nature.“If they survived 41,000 years, I have no idea what the upper limit is,” he said to The Post.
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