Scientists Play "Jurassic Park," Coax Ancient Glacial Bacteria Back To Life

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Scientists at Pennsylvania State University resurrected glacial bacteria that had been buried for 120,000 years, raising hopes that if there was ever life on Mars, we might be able to re-animate it, too.

The scientists found the bacteria, named Herminiimonas glaciei, buried under nearly 2 miles worth of ice in Greenland. Scientists think that, since it's small even for bacteria, it survives on nutrients trapped in veins of ice and uses its flagella to move within veins to seek food.

It took the scientists almost a year to revive the bacteria and coax it to grow; once it did, it yielded small colonies of purple-brown bacteria. Although not as old as the 8 million year old bacteria resurrected from Antarctic ice in 2007, it does lead the Penn State scientists to believe that they might be able to find and re-grow bacteria from Mars or Jupiter's moon Europa:

All we can say is that because ice is the best medium to preserve nucleic acids, other organic compounds and cells, the potential for finding them in these environments is quite high because of the cold... It gives us hope that if something is there, we can locate it.


Because that turned out well for scientists in Species.

'Resurrection bug' revived after 120,000 years [New Scientist]
Eight-million-year-old bug is alive and growing [New Scientist]