Research

Scientists summed up the first results of the longest in the history of scientific experiment

Group learned from UK (Scotland),Germany and the United States summed up the first results of the most long-term scientific experiment in history. The purpose of the experiment is to study the viability of microbes in isolation over a 500-year period. The final results will be summarized already in 2514, and now microbiologists have presented the results of the first five years of the study - about 1 percent of the total length of the experiment, according to an article published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The object of the study is hay stick(Bacillus subtilis), opened in 1835 and is one of the most studied representatives of the genus Bacillus. According to scientists, bacterial spores are incredibly stable forms of life. In response to extreme conditions, they are able to rearrange their DNA in order to adapt to them.

The longest experiment in the history of sciencemust answer several questions at once that will ultimately allow a better understanding of how life evolved on our planet over 3.5 billion years ago and whether life on other planets with other environmental conditions is possible.

In particular, scientists are interested in how longviability is maintained in the absence of moisture and air, how quickly bacteria will revive, returning to their usual environment, what is the rate of spore death and when does it occur?

When preparing the experiment, dried bacteriahay sticks were placed in hundreds of hermetically sealed flasks. The flasks were placed in two boxes - one located at the University of Edinburgh, the other - at the London Museum of Natural History. Some more samples are exposed to very low temperatures and radiation. During the first 24 years from the beginning of the experiment, every 2 years, scientists will open several flasks and check the condition of the bacteria. After this, a sample check will be conducted 1 time in 25 years.

In the first results, the scientists notethat complete isolation has so far had no effect on the condition of the hay stick. Samples were as viable as at the beginning of the experiment. Some of the samples of Bacillus subtilis exposed to low temperature (-80 degrees Celsius) and radiation died, however, the surviving scientists did not detect changes in DNA - it does not differ from the samples of bacteria that are in sealed flasks.

Researchers are well aware thatThe final results of the experiment can be brought only by descendants after many generations, so all the results of the first years of observation are carefully recorded both on digital media and on paper, taking into account all established rules, which will also be copied every 25 years and subsequently passed on to future generations.

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