The team of scientists managed to wake up the animal and their fascinating finding was published last June in the journal Current Biology and could lead to better ways to preserve human cells, tissues and organs.
“Our report is the strongest evidence to date that these multicellular animals can withstand tens of thousands of years in cryptobiosis, the almost completely stopped state of metabolism,” said Stas Malavin, co-author of the study and a biologist at the Institute for Physicochemical and Physical Problems. Biologics in Soil Science.
The laboratory specializes in the isolation of microscopic organisms from the ancient permafrost of Siberia. Scientists collected samples and used a drilling rig in some of the most remote places in the Arctic.
The animal is called a rotifer and was found in the permafrost at a depth of 3.5 meters. Radiocarbon dating revealed that the sample was approximately 24,000 years old. That is, thousands of years before the end of the last ice age.