Sophont
Friday, February 20, 2004
 
New Zealand's leading news and information website:
"Scientists have revived primitive life forms retrieved from frozen ground in the Antarctic and believed to be up to eight million years old.

The revival of ancient colonies of bacteria was a significant step in helping develop new methods for investigating whether alien life has existed, or still exists, on other planets, University of Otago geologist Dr Gary Wilson said this week.

Dr Wilson has helped lead a 24-member team which has worked on the nine-year project.

With Imre Friedmann from Nasa and David Gilichinsky from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Dr Wilson extracted dormant bacteria from sedimentary layers at several sites beneath frozen ground estimated to be between five and eight million years old.

Ensuring the bacteria was not contaminated by other organisms, they placed them in freezers and shipped them to the United States "

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