Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Bacteria Found Alive in 120,000-year-old Ice Core

Scientists studying an ice core drilled from two miles inside a Greenland glacier found living bacteria, reports ScienceDaily. They estimate the ice is 120,000 years old. Not only is it astonishing to find something could survive for that long in such a "low-temperature, high-pressure, reduced-oxygen, and nutrient-poor habitat," but the finding could help us understand how life exists in the deep reaches of space.

While the Greenland find (credited to a team of Penn State scientists) is pretty cool, scientists have previously managed to resuscitate bacteria that's been dormant for millions of hears. Last year,
Pound360 blogged about how scientists have managed to bring bacteria back to life after being frozen for 250 million years.

A couple other interesting facts from the ScienceDaily piece: Microbes make up about a third of all biomass on earth, but less than 8,000 of the estimated 3,000,000 species have been identified.

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Pound360 Archive

About Me

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.