HomeGadgetsRotifers wake up 24,000 years later in the Siberian permafrost

Rotifers wake up 24,000 years later in the Siberian permafrost

The resurrected rotifer.

The resurrected rotifer.
image: Michael Praka

A lone rotifer has Wake up after spending the past 24,000 years in freezing hibernation. Scientists hope that further research on this multicellular animal can find better ways to freeze-preserve human cells, tissues and organs.

Rotifers are worm-like aquatic animals that like freshwater environments and moist soil.These complex organisms are not like Tardigrade, Another miniature animal, but they are also known for their extreme survival skills because they can withstand dehydration, freezing temperatures, hunger and low oxygen levels.A 24,000-year-old rotifer discovered through resurrection In the Siberian permafrost, scientists have shown that these creatures are tougher than previously thought.new Find Published today in “Contemporary Biology”.

“Our report is the most powerful evidence to date, proving that multicellular animals can withstand tens of thousands of years of cryptobiosis and almost completely stop their metabolism,” said Stasmaraven, the co-author of the study, In the press release.Marathi is Biologist at the Soil Low Temperature Laboratory of the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Biological Problems of Soil Science, Pushino, Russia.

Close-up view of resurrected rotifers.

Close-up view of resurrected rotifers.
image: Michael Praka

The impressive feat of microbes, But it may not be a record.As early as 2018, Russian scientists claim Resurrected nematodes extracted from permafrost sediments at least 32,000 years ago.Previous rotifer recovery recording Range from 6 to 10 years, involving specimens found on Antarctic soil and glaciers. Tardy animals recording It’s 30 years, but given their record, I secretly suspect that they can withstand a longer period of freezing and hibernation.

This new discovery is attributed to the soil cryobiology laboratory in Russia, which used a drill to excavate samples from Siberian permafrost.The resurrected rotifers were found near the Arazea River in northeastern Siberia At a depth of 11.5 feet (3.5 meters). The team used a special extraction method to prevent contamination with adjacent layers, while also eliminating natural leakage from the upper layer. The radiocarbon age of the Late Pleistocene strata in which rotifer specimens are preserved can be traced back to approximately 24,000 years ago, approximately 12,500 years before the end of the most recent ice age.

Rotifers resurrected during feeding.
GIF: Lyubov Shmakova

Back in the laboratory, the scientists managed to resurrect the rotifers Even several secondary rotifer cultures are produced from the same individual (rotifers reproduce asexually in a process called parthenogenesis). The paper stated that the reported resurrection “constitutes the longest reported case of rotifers living in a frozen state.”Genetic analysis of the specimen confirms that it belongs to the genus Adineta, It compares well with live samples from Belgium.

To learn more about rotifers and how they achieve this technique, the team randomly selected 144 unrelated rotifer specimens and frozen them at 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 degrees Celsius) for a week.Although the scope of this experiment is limited, it shows that the ancient Adineta As the scientists wrote in the paper, the specimen “is not more frost-resistant than contemporary species.”

Settings for subsequent freezing experiments.

Settings for subsequent freezing experiments.
image: Stas Malaven

“The conclusion is that multicellular organisms can be frozen and stored for thousands of years, and then restored to life-this is the dream of many fiction writers,” Maravin said. “Of course, the more complex the organism, the more difficult it is to cryopreserve it. For mammals, this is currently impossible. However, the transformation from a single-celled organism to an organism with intestines and brains is microscopic, It’s a big step forward.”

Somehow, Adineta Rotifers can resist the formation of ice crystals-ice crystals are the deadly enemy of the freezing process. Ice crystals are like a knife, destroying the integrity of cells and organs. The paper stated that rotifers may have some “biochemical mechanisms that are necessary for survival at low temperatures to screen organs and cells.” A better understanding of this rotifer defense mechanism can greatly improve cryopreservation techniques to store cells, organs, and tissues at low temperatures.

More speculatively, these insights can even advance emerging fields Cryonics, Where the deceased was stored at the temperature of liquid nitrogen.The resurrection of these frozen people It may never happen, but elastic rotifers at least give us hope.

more: Frozen tardigrade animals resurrected after 30 years.

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