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WORMS frozen in permafrost have come back to life after 42,000 years — in what experts say is a breakthrough in the science of cryogenics.

Two nematodes from Siberia are moving and eating again for the first time since the Pleistocene age, Russian scientists said.

 Worms frozen for up to 42,000 years were rejuvenated by Russian scientists - paving the way for further breakthroughs in cryogenic science

East2west News

Worms frozen for up to 42,000 years were rejuvenated by Russian scientists – paving the way for further breakthroughs in cryogenic science

The ancient roundworms — frozen since the era of woolly mammoths — started wriggling again in petri dishes at an institute near Moscow.

The team, who worked with geoscientists from Princeton University in the US, succeeded in coaxing the frozen worms back to life.

Their landmark report said: “We have obtained the first data demonstrating the capability of multicellular organisms for long-term cryobiosis in permafrost deposits of the Arctic”.

Some 300 prehistoric worms were analysed — and two “were shown to contain viable nematodes”.

 One of the worms was from a site near the Alazeya River

East2west News

One of the worms was from a site near the Alazeya River
 Scientists were able to revive the nematodes, which are now moving and eating again

East2west News

Scientists were able to revive the nematodes, which are now moving and eating again
 The ancient roundworms were frozen from the time of the woolly mammoth

East2west News

The ancient roundworms were frozen from the time of the woolly mammoth
 The worms were brought back to life by scientists at the Institute of Physico-Chemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science

East2west News

The worms were brought back to life by scientists at the Institute of Physico-Chemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science
 Experts say the experiment shows 'the ability of multicellular organisms to survive long-term - tens of thousands of years' in a state of 'natural cryoconservation'

East2west News

Experts say the experiment shows ‘the ability of multicellular organisms to survive long-term – tens of thousands of years’ in a state of ‘natural cryoconservation’

“After being defrosted, the nematodes showed signs of life — they started moving and eating,” another report cited by The Siberian Times said.

One of the worms , found in permafrost in 2015, was from a site near the Alazeya River and believed to be around 41,700 years old.

The other was taken in 2002 from an prehistoric squirrel burrow in Duvanny Yar outcrop in the lower reaches of the Kolyma River — and is around 32,000 years old.

 The worms were extracted from permafrost that dates from as far back as 42,000 years ago

East2west News

The worms were extracted from permafrost that dates from as far back as 42,000 years ago
 The roundworms were embedded in permafrost - but have been brought back to life

East2west News

The roundworms were embedded in permafrost – but have been brought back to life
 Scientists dug out the worms from sites in Russia's coldest region

East2west News

Scientists dug out the worms from sites in Russia’s coldest region
 The Pleistocene Park seeks to restore the ancient habitat of the woolly mammoth

East2west News

The Pleistocene Park seeks to restore the ancient habitat of the woolly mammoth

This is close to the site of Pleistocene Park, an experimental project seeking to recreate the Arctic habitat of the extinct woolly mammoth.

Both areas are in Yakutia — the coldest region in Russia.

The worms were coaxed back to life in a lab at the Institute of Physico-Chemical and Biological Problems

of Soil Science near Moscow.

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Scientists there said the breakthrough demonstrates “the ability of multicellular organisms to survive long-term – tens of thousands of years” in a state of “natural cryoconservation”.

The report, which appeared in Doklady Biological Sciences, added: “It is obvious that this ability suggests that the Pleistocene nematodes have some adaptive mechanisms that may be of scientific and

practical importance for the related fields of science, such as cryomedicine, cryobiology, and astrobiology.”

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