Small animals survive 24,000 years of freezing in Siberian permafrost: “a big step forward”

The Earth has changed dramatically in the last few decades, but it will take tens of thousands of years to catch up with the recently revived microbes.

In a new study published in the journal this week Current biology, Researchers report the amazing survival story of the Bdelloidea, a small freshwater organism common throughout the world. Multicellular organisms can only be seen under a microscope, Can survive Due to dryness, freezing, starvation, hypoxia.

Researchers have now learned that these animals are not only resilient, but can survive for a very long period of time, at least 24,000 years, in Siberia. permafrostPrevious evidence suggested that they could only live for 10 years.

“Our report is, as of today, the most convincing evidence that multicellular organisms can withstand tens of thousands of years of cryptobiosis, a state in which metabolism is almost completely stopped.” statement..

This image shows a rotifer under a microscope.

Michael Preuka

The Cryogenic Institute for Soil Cryogenics in Psino, Russia, used a drilling rig to collect microbes from nearly 12 feet underground, one of the most remote locations in the Arctic Circle. Researchers then used radiocarbon dating to estimate their age.

After the organism was thawed, it was possible to reproduce asexually using a process called parthenogenesis. Researchers have discovered that by repeating the process of freezing and thawing dozens of times, animals innately protect cells and organs from the formation of ice crystals at cryogenic temperatures.

Finding this feature in multicellular organisms pushes the boundaries of what scientists believed possible.

“The important thing is that multicellular organisms can be frozen and preserved for thousands of years and then revived. This is the dream of many novelists,” says Malavin. “Of course, the more complex an organism is, the harder it is to keep it alive and frozen. For mammals, that is not possible at this time, but the transition from unicellular organisms to organisms with intestines and brains. Is a microscopic but big step forward. “

Rotifers have joined the list of organisms that appear to be frozen underground and can survive indefinitely, including many unicellular microorganisms, 30,000-year-old nematodes, moss, and some plants. Mammals that have been extinct for many years and are still well preserved have also been found in the thawing of permafrost, which has succumbed to climate change. Bear From the ice age 18,000 year old puppy..

The new findings seem to bring more questions than answers. Scientists don’t know the exact reason why these organisms can survive in ice for years, and it’s even less clear whether the difference between years and thousands is important.

Researchers hope that further study of Arctic samples will provide new insights into the conservation of cells, tissues, and organs in other animals, including humans.

Small animals survive 24,000 years of freezing in Siberian permafrost: “a big step forward”

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