Microscopic animal survives in Siberian permafrost for 24,000 years

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June 7, 2021 at 7:55 p.m.

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A microscopic animal called a rotifer was brought back to life after 24,000 years of freezing in Siberia and was then able to clone itself, Russian scientists said on Monday.

The discovery raises questions about the mechanisms that make the multicellular Animal used to survive this long period of dormancy, Stas Malavin, co-author of a paper on the subject in Current Biology, told AFP.

“Our report is the strongest evidence to date that multicellular animals have tens of thousands of years in cryptobiosis, a state in which metabolism almost completely stops,” said Malavin of the Institute of Problems. physico-chemical and biological soil in Pushchino. Russia.

The research team used an oil rig to collect core samples from the Alazeia River in the Russian Arctic, then used radiocarbon dating to determine the age of the sample between 23,960 and 24,485 years.

In multicellular organisms, the case of a 30,000-year-old roundworm that has been brought back to life has been described. Mosses and some plants also regenerated in the ice after several thousand years.

Rotifers can now be added to the list of organisms that can apparently survive indefinitely, Malavin says.

We can use this organism as a model to study frost and dehydration survival in this group and compare it to other resistant animals such as tardigrade, nematode, etc. Added Mr. Malavin.

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