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posted by martyb on Thursday June 10, @04:58AM   Printer-friendly
from the just-chillin' dept.

Rotifer don't care: Microscopic animal survives 24,000 years frozen in Siberian permafrost:

A new study details the remarkable journey of a bdelloid rotifer, a miniscule freshwater critter that survived for millennia in the permafrost of Siberia.

"Our report is the hardest proof as of today that multicellular animals could withstand tens of thousands of years in cryptobiosis, the state of almost completely arrested metabolism," Stas Malavin, of the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science in Russia, said in a Cell Press statement.

[...] Rotifers are also known as "wheel animalcules," thanks to the Latin root of their name which relates to a rotating "wheel" of tiny hairs at one end of their body. The "animalcule" part refers to them being microscopic animals.

[...] The rotifer came from a depth of about 11 feet (3.5 meters). [...] Once thawed, it was able to reproduce by way of essentially cloning itself.

[...] The researchers froze and thawed rotifers in lab experiments. The results suggest the wheel animalcules have an as-yet-unknown mechanism for surviving a slow freezing process. The team intends to keep looking for more animals that may be able to survive in similar circumstances. If scientists can understand how the animals protect and preserve themselves, they may be able to improve cryonics for more complex animals, like humans.

Journal Reference:
Lyubov Shmakova, Stas Malavin. A living bdelloid rotifer from 24,000-year-old Arctic permafrost, Current Biology (DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.077)

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by FatPhil on Thursday June 10, @09:13AM

    /Rotifers - Charmingly Bizarre & Often Ignored/

    From the /Journey to the Microcosmos/ channel
    I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +2  
       Interesting=1, Informative=1, Total=2
    Extra 'Interesting' Modifier   0  
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    Total Score:   4