According to the new research published in PLOS Genetics journal, scientists have revived a worm that was seen frozen in the Siberian permafrost for over 46,000 years. Sounds astounding right?
The roundworm survived 131.2 feet below the surface in the Siberian permafrost and that also in a dormant state also known as cryptobiosis. Mr Kurzchalia, professor emeritus at Max Institute of Molecular cell biology and Genetics explain how organisms are in a cryptobiotic state and can endure the complete absence of oxygen, and water and even can withstand high temperatures as well as freeze or extremely salty conditions.
Their metabolic rates usually decrease to an undetectable level when they are in a state between death and life. According to scientists, one can halt life and even start it from the beginning and the organisms which have previously revived from this state had survived for decades! Interesting right?
Two roundworm species were found in the Siberian permafrost 5 years ago by scientists from an institute of physiochemical and biological problems. One of the researchers revived the 2 worms by rehydrating them before taking around 100 worms to labs in Germany. After thawing worms, the scientist used radiocarbon analysis of the plant material which showed that the deposits had not been thawed for 47,769 years ago. Despite this, they couldn’t know whether the worm was a known species or not. Eventually one came to know that these worms belonged to a Nobel species named Panagrolaimus kolymaenis.
Researchers also found that kolymaenis shared with elegans another organism ‘a molecular toolkit’ that could allow it to survive cryptobiosis as both organisms produce trehalose- a sort of sugar which could enable them to endure freezing and even dehydration.
Here’s the image of what we’ve been talking and researching about: