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Worms immobilized for 46,000 years in permafrost, ‘resurrected’ worms reproduced over a hundred generations

Worms immobilized for 46,000 years in permafrost, ‘resurrected’ worms reproduced over a hundred generations

Electronic images and graphical presentations of Siberian worms. press service

Genetic analysis of these worms shows that they belong to a previously unknown species.

If they could talk, these verses would have a lot to tell us. And for good reason: after being kept frozen for over 46,000 years as prisoners in the Siberian permafrost, they are still very much alive! Discovered by Russian scientists, these frozen nematodes were brought back to Moscow in 2018 to be reheated in Petri dishes at 20°C in the presence of agar-agar (a gelling agent extracted from algae and bacteria). coli (which served them as a meal). Then tiny long worms a few tenths of a millimeter in size came back to life and have reproduced since then for over a hundred generations, resuming their evolutionary course as if nothing had happened.

Recently, a team of molecular biologists from the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany managed to analyze it and published their findings in late July in the journal. Plus Genetics. According to the genetic profile of these animals, it will be a new species that the researchers have named

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