we greatly underestimate the ability of the bacteria to survive.
What can be found under the soil at a depth of about 6,000 meters below sea level? It would seem that nothing living. So did researchers from the Oceanographic Institute in woods hole (USA), has not yet discovered under the ocean floor accumulation of bacteria. Moreover, preliminary estimates suggest it is so ancient microorganisms that they more than 100 million years! Can these germs stay alive after such a large amount of time with virtually no power? It turned out, Yes, because scientists have managed to "revive" these bacteria!
According to scientists, during the expedition they found bacteria in the soil samples from a depth of 5,700 meters below sea level. Even in a place like this microorganisms somehow found a small source of oxygen, though the bacteria themselves had not filed any signs of life. This has forced to assume that if you put the microbes in a more nourishing environment, they can again begin to live and breed.
Scientists have provided the ground where they found the bacteria, substances to create a nourishing environment — ammonia, salts of acetic acid, and isotopes of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Through 557 of days the soil was removed and was discovered around a thousand bacteria per cubic centimeter. In the laboratory, they have already added other nutrients, after which the number of microorganisms was one million per cubic centimeter. For 2 months the bacteria multiplied a thousand times.
the Saturation of the bacteria with nutrients
The Discovery proves "insane" opportunity, as one of the scientists that microbes are found deep under the earth at rest, or at least slow growing without dividing for millions of years.
In addition, the experiment demonstrated that life is possible even in places that biologists once thought uninhabited. That is, in theory, similar organisms can live in other places in the Solar system .
If the surface of a particular planet does not look promising for the existence of life there, the microorganisms can still dwell deep beneath it, — says Andreas Teske, a microbiologist from the University of North Carolina.
As a rule, one cubic centimeter of sea mud have not less than 100,000 microorganisms. But in these samples was not more than a thousand bacteria in the same amount of soil. That is despite the fact that bacteria can exist almost without food, their population is still declining. No one can argue that in another 150 million years, they will not disappear completely.
In the future, the biologists plan to develop specialized methods to search for life in places previously considered uninhabitable. In particular, we are talking about the use of chemical indicators to detect the ingress of any bacteria in the soil and sea water, as well as a method of analysis of very small quantities of cells and isotopes.
Bacteria when they were first discovered in the soil under the ocean
Genetic analysis of the microbes revealed that they belong to the eight known bacterial groups, many of which are commonly found elsewhere in salt water, where they play an important role in breaking down organic matter.
It is said that learning how to survive in conditions of extreme energy limitation is a common skill — scientists say.
Researchers do not know what to do, all these microbes for tens of millions of years. They discovered most of the species showed no signs of life, and as if "asleep", as some bacteria survive in adverse conditions. It is possible that all this time the bacteria divided very slowly.
In 2016, a group of Russian scientists studying lake Vostok, located in Antarctica . A new species of bacteria open often enough, but in this situation, attention was drawn to the fact open, and that the microorganisms have similarities with the earth only at 86%. Depth, to be precise, the thickness of the ice on which was discovered a new form of life, corresponds to the layers, whose age is approximately five thousand years. The bacteria were found in a fully viable condition and felt well at a temperature of -60°C. And in a 2005 study, NASA researchers have successfully revived a bacterium enclosed in a frozen pond in Alaska for 32 000 years. Germs called Carnobacterium pleistocenum has been frozen from the time when woolen mammoths still roamed the Earth. As soon as the ice melted, they have again started to swim as if nothing had happened.
The Scientists said that if speculation about the extraterrestrial origin of microorganisms foundconfirmed, it will help to get an idea about what life forms can be developed on other planets.