Thursday, 30 August 2007

It's a God awful small affair.

On Monday I posted on something that was very big, now for something that is a smidge smaller.

Researchers revealed on Monday that bacteria are able to survive nearly half a million years in harsh, frozen conditions having completed the authentication of the oldest DNA yet found in living cells.

An international team headed by Eske Willerslev, from the University of Copenhagen, included researchers from United States, Canada, Russia and Sweden, tested microbes living up to 10 meters deep in permafrost collected from Northern Canada, the Yukon, Siberia and Antarctica.

It has been suggested that these findings add credence to the arguments that permafrost environments on Mars could harbour life.

"When it can live half a million years on Earth it makes it very promising it could survive on Mars for a very long time," Willerslev said. "Permafrost would be an excellent place to look for life on Mars."

“This is interesting because the temperature on Mars is much colder with more stable temperatures, representing an even better environment to sustain this kind of life”, he added.

Apparently the study of the survival of these cells and their ability to repair and regenerate will also provide further insights in to the ageing process which is as applicable to humans as it is to the microbes.

So further theoretical proof that we may not be alone and the possibility of being around long enough to watch the ‘neighbours’ evolve into algae given the right conditions.

Who ever said that life is boring?

No comments: