Scientists managed to awaken microbes 100 million years old, which were under the ocean, in a place, however, not very conducive to life, according to a study.
These results, published in the journal Nature Communications, reveal the amazing capabilities of one of the most primitive life forms on Earth, which can survive for tens of millions of years with almost no oxygen or nutrients, and be reborn in a laboratory.
Ten years ago, a scientific expedition set out to excavate the depths of the Pacific Ocean and took samples of ancient sediments buried 100 meters below the ocean floor, atSome of them for more than 100 million years.
The research team, led by the Japanese agency for underwater sciences and technologies, chose the subtropical turn of the South Pacific, the least active area in the entire ocean, as it lacks nutrients, and therefore very little conducive to life.
The researchers put the samples into incubation, to help the microbes from more than 100 million years to “come out” of its lethargy.
To their surprise, they discovered that, far from being fossilized in the sediments, the microbes had survived there, and were even capable of growth and multiplication.
“At first, I was skeptical, but rit turned out that 99.1% of the microbes in the sediments from 101.5 million years old were still alive, and ready to eat! ”said Yuki Morono, the study’s lead author.
“We now know that there is no age limit for organisms in the underwater biosphere,” he told AFP. “It is an excellent place to explore the limits of life on Earth,” he added in a statement.
Remnants of oxygen in the sediments would have allowed these microbes over 100 million years old stay alive during this time. The microbes “Surface”, meanwhile, could not survive in such conditions.
Previous studies showed how bacteria could live in the most inhospitable places on the planet, even without oxygen.
In 2017 scientists from the NASA discovered in the crystals of the Naica cave, Chihuahua, the existence of living microorganisms with 60 thousand years.
Experts revealed at that time that microorganisms apparently survived so many years feeding on sulfite, manganese or copper oxide.
With information from Reuters and AFP.