30 Jul 2018

Frozen roundworms come back to life after 40,000 years

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:36 pm on 30 July 2018

Russian biologists have come across a huge surprise when they dug up frozen soil from the Arctic and took them back to their lab in Moscow for a closer look.

They've thawed out permafrost sediment frozen for the past 40,000 years and discovered living nematodes.

The roundworms have begun to move and eat. So, does this set a a record for the time an animal can survive cryogenic preservation? 

Aside from revealing new limits of endurance, it just might prove useful when it comes to preserving our own tissues. Cryogenics expert, associate professor in biochemistry at Otago University Craig Marshall tells us more. 

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Photo: (Doklady Biological Sciences)

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