Scientists "woke up" microbes that have been dormant for about 100 million years

In studying the past of the Earth, scientists forFor many years, samples of ancient rock sediments collected from the seabed have been used. This technique helps to understand the causes of climate change, to find out the trajectory of tectonic plates and to study the deep sea ecosystem.

A group of Japanese researchers who worked inIn the region of the Pacific whirlpool, located between Australia and South America and considered the most remote part of the ocean from land, they made a sensational discovery, "reviving" microorganisms in a state of sleep, whose age is estimated at 101.5 million years.

Microbes were identified in cores obtained duringdrilling the ocean floor for 100 meters, with the depth of the ocean itself in this place at 6,000 meters. The study of ancient organisms that came to us from the era of dinosaurs pursued two goals: to find out the very possibility of surviving in an environment where nutrients are almost completely absent and to determine the time that microorganisms can spend in such conditions.

During the study, scientists found in the sedimentaryrock oxygen, which may have seeped inward as biological sediments accumulated at a rate of one meter in one million years. The presence of oxygen has allowed aerobic microorganisms to survive for millions of years.

After placing microbes in a nutrient medium,it turned out that 99.1% of them were still alive and capable of further development, growth and reproduction. The vital processes of ancient microorganisms are extremely slowed down, which is explained by the lack of energy for their development. This study, according to scientists, will make significant progress towards studying the process of the origin of life on Earth.

Source: uri