Photo: Rob Fromwell (Flickr)
Is it possible to bring the dead back to life?
After months of incubation, the bacterium woke up and began reproducing. Before long, the ancient organism was once again thriving.
From Microbes To Zombies
Don’t be alarmed. Unlike what may happen in a science fiction thriller, the bacterium isn’t some deadly microbe that’s going to turn us all into zombies. Apparently, it’s a very small, simple microbe not very different from billions of others that have lived on earth.
What’s interesting about the microbe is: A) how it managed to survive for so long beneath the ice; and B) what it suggests about the possibility of life on other planets.
Life On Other Planets?
The researchers think that the bacterium’s small size might have helped it survive in microscopic, watery veins in ice crystals. Being small may also have helped the microbe absorb nutrients more efficiently.
As for life on other planets, scientists have long suspected that if there is life out there, it might exist buried far beneath a planet’s barren surface. So every time scientists find a microbe able to survive under extreme conditions on Earth, it raises the hope that the same might be the case on other worlds.