Cool Science, In Kansas Nonetheless! Worlds Oldest, Living, Microbe


The city of Hutchinson, KS sits sixty five stories above a massive series of salt mine tunnels that stretch as far as New Mexico. But that’s not the cool part of this story.  A couple of scientists found a microbe inside a 250 million year old pocket of salt water containing some positively ancient microbes.  This wouldn’t be that strange an occurrence except for one tiny detail: the microbe was still alive.

Well, sort of alive, in the sense that the microbes had regressed into a sort of perma-hibernation that bacteria use when no nutrients are available.  Of course, surviving hundreds of millions of years in this state is unheard of.  The scientists simply put the bacteria in a fresh nutrient solution and voila, 250 million year old bacteria that are alive and kickin’.

(Via Boing Boing)


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