Scientists have recently discovered and revived a worm that was frozen 46,000 years ago. This worm was frozen in the Siberian permafrost and was pulled from a depth of 40 meters (131.2 feet) below the surface.
The discovery was published in PLOS Genetics and says: “Recently, individuals of Siberian permafrost nematodes have been reanimated after remaining in cryptobiosis. Preliminary analyzes indicate that these nematodes belong to the genera Panagrolaimus and Plectus.”
Source: PLOS Genetics
The worm was revived by simply rehydrating it with water. After a few hours, the worm began to squirm and move. Scientists were surprised to discover that the worm was still alive and active after so many years.
The survival of the worm is a remarkable discovery. Scientists believe that the worm was able to survive by entering a state of cryptobiosis.
In cryptobiosis, organisms can reduce their metabolic rate to a very low level, allowing them to survive in hostile environments.
The study mentions: “Survival in extreme environments for long periods is a challenge that only a few organisms are capable of meeting. “It is not well understood what molecular and biochemical pathways these cryptobiotic organisms use and how long they can suspend life.”
The discovery of the revived worm is known to be an important scientific discovery. This will help scientists gain new insights into the ability of organisms to survive in extreme environments.
It also raises the possibility that other organisms that could have been frozen for thousands of years are still alive.
The authors mention in the article “Our findings here are important for understanding evolutionary processes because generation times could extend from days to millennia, and the long-term survival of individuals of species can lead to the refounding of otherwise extinct lineages.”
In conclusion, this new scientific discovery may have a major impact on our understanding of life on Earth. It serves as a reminder that there are many things on this planet that need to be discovered.