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Hope for Life on Mars? Bug resurrected after 120,000 years

15 Jun 2009, 10:14 UTC
Hope for Life on Mars? Bug resurrected after 120,000 years
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Scientists have brought a newly-discovered bug back to life after more than 120,000 years in hibernation. It raises hopes that dormant life might be revived on Mars.The tiny purple microbe, dubbed called Herminiimonas glaciei, lay trapped beneath nearly two miles of ice on Greenland. It took 11 months to revive it by gently warming it in an incubator.Finally the bug sprang back to life and began producing fresh colonies of purple brown bacteria.Space scientists are excited by the find because it suggests alien creatures might be resurrected on other frozen worlds - especially the Red Planet.NASA revealed in January that plumes of methane on Mars could be from living organisms. Some scientists believe that any microbes are lying dormant beneath thick underground ice on the Red Planet. A future space mission could dig them up and bring them back to life.A European orbiting spacecraft, Mars Express, has identified other regions that may have sheltered primitive forms of alien life.The new Earth bug was found by Dr Jennifer Loveland-Curtze and a team of scientists from Pennsylvania State University.The team showed great patience in coaxing the dormant microbe back to life. First they incubated their samples at 2˚C (two degrees C) for ...

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