Dormant 100-million-year-old microbes have been revived by the scientists. These microbes were buried in the seafloor and dormant in a seemingly lifeless zone of the seabed. The tiny organisms survived in the South Pacific seabed. It was poor in nutrients, but has enough oxygen to allow them to live. The extremely slow accumulation of organic material and other sediments in this region does allow oxygen in the water to seep deep into the sediments. A team of scientists from Japan and America found these and kept them in incubation. Then the microbes began to eat and multiply. Nearly all the microbes responded quickly to the food. By 68 days after the experiment’s start, the total number of microbial cells had increased by four orders of magnitude, from as little as about 100 cells per cubic centimeter to 1 million cells per cubic centimeter. The microbes’ patch of seafloor lies beneath a kind of ocean desert about 3,700 to 5,700 meters below sea level.
Microbes are among the earth’s simplest organisms, and some can live in extreme environments where more developed life forms cannot survive. Now it has also been established that there is no age limit for these organisms.
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