Nobody's sure why the glass vial of Clostridium perfringens spores was buried in a cornerstone of Bellevue Hospital Medical College in 1897, but its discovery could help scientists understand how much this common microbe has evolved in the era of antibiotics.
According to NYU bacteriologist Martin Blaser, a team will crack open the sealed vessel, revive and culture the spores before extracting and sequencing their genetic code. By comparing this to sequences pulled from the modern C. perfringens, researchers will be able to see what, if any, changes have occurred in the subsequent 114 years since their internment. [Wired UK]
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