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Thursday, October 19, 2000|
|Quarter Billion Year Old Bacteria|
(BBC) - Ancient bacteria trapped in a state of suspended animation for 250 million years are the world's oldest living things, claim US scientists. The microbes are ten times older than any previously discovered living organism and may reopen the debate about the origins of life on Earth. Bacteria are known to adapt to harsh conditions by forming resistant structures called spores. They can exist in a state of suspended animation for long periods. Salt deposits in the form of halite - the crystals in which the long-lived bacteria were found - have been discovered in Martian meteorites. "When we go to explore Mars, salt crystals would be a spot to look at," Dr Vreeland added.
(More info: BBC.co.uk)
- posted by Alex @ 15:40 EST