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Microbes Alive After Being Frozen for 32,000 Years 527

Posted by samzenpus
from the stasis dept.
An anonymous reader writes "LiveScience is reporting on a new type of bacteria that after being frozen 32,000 years in the Arctic was ready to swim, eat and multiply instantly upon being thawed. Researchers are excited because they're the sort of microbes that might thrive in the ice sea announced on Mars yesterday. The instant revival abilities mean a future mission, if it found anything on Mars, could conceivably culture it and bring it back alive. Maybe NASA could market them as Martian Sea Monkeys."
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Microbes Alive After Being Frozen for 32,000 Years

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  • by StikyPad (445176) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:12AM (#11762763) Homepage
    Hasn't anyone ever read Andromeda?? Don't thaw them out!!
  • by FunWithHeadlines (644929) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:12AM (#11762764) Homepage
    "bacteria that after being frozen 32,000 years in the Arctic was ready to swim, eat and multiply instantly upon being thawed.

    Wouldn't you be ready to eat and, uh, multiply if you had been without for 32,000 years?

  • by Renraku (518261) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:12AM (#11762765) Homepage
    I can imagine the fark headline in a few years.

    NASA scientists market Martian microbes as 'Martian sea monkies'. Hilarity ensues.
  • Hmm,... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Fjornir (516960) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:12AM (#11762767)
    Researchers are excited because they're the sort of microbes that might thrive in the ice sea announced on Mars yesterday Yeah, if the likely problems of salt in the martian see can be solved for these critters, maybe.
  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:12AM (#11762768)
    The number of years isn't rounded to 32,768? And you call this a geek site?
  • I, for one,... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:13AM (#11762775) Homepage
    welcome our new Martian bacterial overlords!

    But seriously, discovering unicellular life on Mars would be the greatest scientific discovery of the last 200 years, and if it's there, we could do it very cheaply with an uncrewed sample return mission, using present-day technology. It's too bad that the average taxpayer thinks germs from another planet just don't sound very interesting.

    • Re:I, for one,... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by syphax (189065) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:22AM (#11762831) Journal

      But seriously, discovering unicellular life on Mars would be the greatest scientific discovery of the last 200 years.


      I suppose it depends how you define scientific discovery, but I'll stick with, I don't know, let's say the general theory of relativity. That theory (I'd call it a discovery) has pretty profound implications about the nature of our universe. On the other hand, Mars is just the next rock over; I wouldn't find it all that shocking if life were found there (although it would certainly raise some interesting questions).
      • Re:I, for one,... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TWX (665546) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:28AM (#11762890)
        "...I wouldn't find it all that shocking if life were found there (although it would certainly raise some interesting questions)."

        You're probably not a religious fundamentalist either. Remember, the vast majority of the religions on the planet make Earth out to be something special in "all of God's work", and challenging that with something like, "Life has come to be elsewhere without spawning from Earth" would be a real problem for many religions, assuming that the message about life spawning managed to reach the people in these congregations.

        If religious leaders condemn it they could advocate open violence against anyone spreading the knowledge or believing it. Since there are a LOT of people who fall into the Fundamentalist category or are influenced by them this could have really nasty ramifications.

        Most people can't handle a major change in their world view.
        • Re:I, for one,... (Score:2, Insightful)

          by grasshoppa (657393)
          Most people are idiots.

          And I have proof: Look at human history.
          • Re:I, for one,... (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Not really.

            Being an idiots increases your odds of being in the history books by a hundred times, as does being powerful. The few, the proud, the Idiotic Powerful are the ones that end up in history books, as opposed to the millions of froods that just had enough power to get by.

        • Re:I, for one,... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:32AM (#11762945) Homepage Journal
          To hell with religion, the impact on the life sciences is what we're talking about. The effect of having a completely different organism to study would be phenomonal. Of course, if it turns out that earth was seeded by metorites thrown up from mars (or visa-versa) the effect will not be so great. Of course, now that I mention that I've given the religous a way to save their creationist theories.
          • Of course, if it turns out that earth was seeded by metorites thrown up from mars (or visa-versa) the effect will not be so great

            What would be great is if both planets were seeded with life from another star system. I don't know how that could be proved though.
        • Could you handle it? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by r00t (33219)
          Suppose that, in a rather obviously impressive way, God descended from Heaven. Suppose he drops by your place and performs a few miracles. Maybe then he beams you down to Hell for a 5-minute tour, either Star Trek style or via the Earth just opening up for a moment...

          I sure couldn't handle it, but I know people who could.

          • by TWX (665546) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @01:11AM (#11763328)
            "Suppose that, in a rather obviously impressive way, God descended from Heaven. Suppose he drops by your place and performs a few miracles. Maybe then he beams you down to Hell for a 5-minute tour, either Star Trek style or via the Earth just opening up for a moment..."

            Okay, I don't normally, but I'll bite this time...

            If God exists and did this, or part of this, and it was obvious to all of those involved that he actually did these things and that there was absolutely no other way that these things could have happened then those involved would have a reason to believe in him. Fact of the matter is that none of these things have happened to me or to anyone I know, and those that I know who claim that God did something in their lives that's overly special are either crazy or are so bad at stastics that they're not accounting for the 10x number of bad things that happen for the one "miracle" that is simply fortuitous coincidence.

            The British didn't defeat the Spanish Armada in Queen Elisabeth I's day because God helped, they had several unexpected advantages. Likewise, 1910-1920 era Germany lost the first World War despite asserting to themselves in some national motto "God is Great." The man referred to as "Comical Ali" the Iraqi Information Minister continually ranted how the Americans were losing, and how Allah was going to see the Iraqi army to victory over the Infidels.

            This is the same damn argument that Science has had with religion from the earliest days of the discipline; skeptics don't blindly accept "truth" simply because people insist that it's true. Continual restatement of a position doesn't have anything to do with reality.

            Show me one 'miracle' and I'll show you ten anti-miracles, like my 30 year old friend who was a vegetarian and otherwise the picture of health who died of completely natural causes, not realising that she had pulmonary hypertension until it was far, far too late to do anything about it.

            In the mean time, I'm not going to believe something transcribed by hand over generations, across multiple languages, and at times by organizations with manipulative agendas. It was also originally written by people who didn't understand the natural world like we do. I don't doubt many of the positive "lessons" that are the ultimate theme of the parables, but the exact verbatim message can't be literally interpreted in my opinion.
        • by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:50AM (#11763184) Homepage Journal
          Generally religions tend to get round such things in time (though not without much wailing and gnashing of teeth).

          Most of them will probably be happy accepting that it is "our kind of life" that is the special thing and that the existance of microbes etc elsewhere doesn't diminish how special us higher beings are. After all, most of them don't seem to like the thought that we and simpler organisms have common origins anyway.
        • blind eye (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DreadSpoon (653424)
          Why is it that religious leaders can always incite their zealot followers to violence against those who are different, but they can never incite their zealot followers to embrace the tranquillity, harmony, sanctity of life, forgiveness, mercy, tolerance, and passiveness that pretty much all of the major religions are based on?

          I've never believed religion to be anything more than a crutch. It's a crutch for the immoral to have a reason to stay moral, just like law and prosecution are reasons for the crimin
        • Re:I, for one,... (Score:2, Insightful)

          by salemlb (857652)
          Religious fundamentalists will have no trouble with this one. The will be, something along the lines of... "See? We TOLD you life had to be created! How else can you explain something that you can't even do in a laboratory appearing in TWO different places! All this time you've been saying life is rare, and shuckey-durn, we were right all along when we said GOD could make it when, where, and how he pleased." The ones having trouble will likely be the biologists and biochemists... who will now be likel
        • Re:I, for one,... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Queer Boy (451309) *

          If religious leaders condemn it they could advocate open violence against anyone spreading the knowledge or believing it. Since there are a LOT of people who fall into the Fundamentalist category or are influenced by them this could have really nasty ramifications.

          I think you're speaking from a very US-centric view. There are very few people outside the US that fall into the sort of "fundamentalist" category that you are describing. There's nothing in the Torah or Koran that says that there's only life

        • Re:I, for one,... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Flavio (12072)
          Please explain how extraterrestrial life contradicts theology from the world's major religions.

          Christianity certainly makes humans special, but in no way precludes the existence of other extraordinary mortal creatures. Doing so would actually be inconsistent, since the scriptures mention other special creatures (angels and demons) which don't exist exclusively on Earth.

          Therefore, even intelligent extraterrestrial life wouldn't pose a threat to Christian theology. Since Mars is expected (at best) to harbor
          • Re:I, for one,... (Score:3, Interesting)

            by CmdrGravy (645153)
            I think you will have to admit you are also an aethist before you go accusing other people of being close minded and prejudiced.

            The problem with Christianity and all other religious beliefs is that they have no basis in any kind of facts or evidence and are therefore perfectly capable of changing to suit any situation.

            We should listen to what Christian Theology has to say about life elsewhere with exactly the same weight as listening to the trilling of nightingales to tell us about life elsewhere since bo
        • Re:I, for one,... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by kamapuaa (555446) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @04:18AM (#11764435) Homepage
          I don't really understand how you're taken seriously, when you're obviously much more a zealot than any religious person I've ever met. Christianity doesn't have a stance on life on other worlds, although the Catholic church says it's a possibility. Mormons specifically believe in other populated worlds. Muslims believe God created other worlds. Many forms of Buddhism and Hinduism believe in parallel worlds. Scientologists believe in Zetans or some shit.

          Considering it was formerly a commonplace view that other planets were populated, how would it even make sense for religions to be fundamentally opposed to the concept?

          Can you please name a single religion with a dogma that specifically condemns the possibility of life on other worlds? Or are you just blindly opposed to religion?

    • Re:I, for one,... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rhizome (115711) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:26AM (#11762876) Homepage Journal
      >But seriously, discovering unicellular life on Mars would be the
      >greatest scientific discovery of the last 200 years

      I think it's impact would be much greater on the theological world than the scientific.
      • Re:I, for one,... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by peccary (161168)
        I don't think it would shake the theological world nearly as much as the discovery of intelligent life in the New World did. Christianity survived that one relatively unscathed, save for the invention of a new sect and a sci-fi TV series. I'm sure that it won't struggle too much with Martian microbes. After all, the Genesis account only says that God created life on Earth, it doesn't rule out the possibility that he might have created life somewhere else as well.

        Buddhism, Shinto, Taoism, and Wicca coul
  • Maybe NASA could market them as Martian Sea Monkeys.
    And allow them to complete thier plan of terran conquest by infecting your children with thier mind control microbes? I for one will welcome our new Martian Overlords.
  • by muqo (843303) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:15AM (#11762792)
    LiveScience is reporting on a new type of bacteria that after being frozen 32,000 .... yeah, new... only 32 Kyears...
    • It's kind of like when you buy a "new to you" car. It'll be a year or two old, have around 15,000 miles on it, and have the most annoying radio station ever programmed to all six buttons and the page in the manual that tells how to program the buttons missing. But it's "New to you," so the dealer just drops the "to you" part and calls it new.
    • LiveScience is reporting on a new type of bacteria that after being frozen 32,000 .... yeah, new

      It says "new type" not "type of new".

  • tardigrada (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tardigrades (841826) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:16AM (#11762799) Homepage
    tardigrades are way cooler http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tardigrada [wikipedia.org]
  • Uh oh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by nebaz (453974) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:16AM (#11762803)
    It's Encino Paramecium
  • Honest Question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mdiep (823946) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:20AM (#11762817) Homepage
    Really, I'm just wondering: how do they know the microbes were frozen for 32 000 years?

    --
    matt
    <insert sig here>

    • Re:Honest Question (Score:2, Informative)

      by Mr. Capris (839522)
      Prolly by guessing the age of the ice it was found in...based on strata, isotope dating (if possible)
    • Re:Honest Question (Score:3, Informative)

      by pronobozo (794672) *
      Doesn't say in the article how they knew but I do know that in some instances, they track the layers in ice/snow from each years snow fall.

      They can find out a lot of information because water and pollutants can travel all around the world and deposit in them.

      I've also read about microbes being able to do the same thing.

      As for this instance... well... google it.
  • Martian Life... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kr3m3Puff (413047) * <me@ k i t s o n k e l l y.com> on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:24AM (#11762858) Homepage Journal
    I wonder though, which Star Trek and other series sort of gloss over, is that if Martian bacteria did develop, seperate from ourselves, we would probablly lack any auto immune response to be able to combat them. We are the product a millions and billions of years of fighting other life forms for our existence. It would be naive of us to assume that other lifeforms out there would fundementally eat us for lunch, and the reverse being true.

    On the other hand, maybe the right of universe is made up of right handed Amino Acids [nasa.gov] and we will be safe...
    • You also have to remember that our basic needs arent so far from the bacteria/virii/etc that we are fighting (or hosting) as we came from a common ancestor (no creation vs. evolution debate please). As such any microbes from a distant planet would not have said common ancestor and would most likely have different needs/enzymes/etc. and would probably not pose any threat to us. Of course the theory of space spores (bacterial spores ejected into space by meteors, dont laugh its probably true.) could mean thes
    • Wow, you sure do make some hair-brained assumptions.

      1: Life does exist outside of Earth.
      2: Mars has life.
      3: Our immune system cannot adapt to (possible) extraterrestrial microbes.
      4: The microbes would have the similar makeup of chemistry to interface with Earth Chemistry.

      Of course you have an interesting.. You made up plenty of stuff. Lets find some microbes and then make wild-ass guesses.
    • Re:Martian Life... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lehk228 (705449)
      at the same time the martian bacteria would not "know" how to do anything with our biological systems and probably would not find our bodies to be a suitable environment.
    • Or, flip that... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Julian Morrison (5575)
      "we would probablly lack any auto immune response to be able to combat them."

      It's easy enough to speculate on a vice versa: our modern earth bacteria are tough customers, honed by millennia of unending counter-immune war. Wimpy mars bacteria would cower in their meteorite, like preschoolers dumped in a rough biker bar.

      Yes, scientific types, I'm blowing smoke, too. Vote me +1, funny.
    • Re:Martian Life... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Illserve (56215) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @01:27AM (#11763447)
      That's not really the way the immune system works. It attacks things that are different. The differenter the better.

      The germs that are most dangerous are ones that have evolved tricks to evade detection.

      Germs from Mars would be the first against the wall when the T-cells rolled into town.

      • by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @07:42AM (#11765059) Journal
        Think the flu brought to America by the conquistadors/missionaries/colonists/etc. Something that for the europeans was just a flu, was deadlier to the Indians than the black plague back in Europe. It killed more of them than the conquistadors, wars, and inquisition combined.

        "The differenter the better" is good and fine, but at one point it becomes "different enough to not be detected". The immune system and its cells aren't a complete genetics lab, complete with a team of top-notch scientists, fully analyzing every cell and deciding if it belongs there or not. It reacts to certain patterns, but doesn't react at all to others. Things that they never had to detect, they might not. Or not reliably.

        Or to put it otherwise, that too is the result of evolution, rather than intelligent design. Being able to detect and solve problems that actually could kill the animal before it reproduced, were obviously favoured by natural selection. Having an immune system that reacts to viruses and bacteria you meet every day, now that's the kind of thing that natural selection is all about.

        On the other hand, having an immune system capable of reacting to fundamentally different stuff, that's never even been there in millions of years, that's something _not_ enforced by natural selection. You can be born, grow up, reproduce, and die, without ever needing to heal from a martian flu.

        In fact, au contraire: there's a good evolutionary reason to _not_ evolve an over-reacting immune system. See the auto-immune Type 1 diabetes where your pancreas is destroyed by your own immune system. Individuals with an immune system even more strict than that, got themselves out of the gene pool.

        And evolution can be even more perverse than that. There are a whole bunch of genetic diseases or other disfunctions, which didn't get filtered out by billions of years of selection, nor get defenses evolved against them, because they made no difference in reproduction rates. Either because:

        A) The're very rare recessive genes. Individuals could be "the fittest", even while carrying these genes. Or

        B) They kill you after the age where you've already reproduced. E.g., skin cancer. Stuff that could kill you in your thirties-fourties wasn't a priority to evolve defenses against, when those hominids lived less than half that.

        Basically all I'm saying is: I wouldn't be _that_ sure. There are good chances that, yes, the germs from mars would be the first against the wall. But as history shows, there are also non-zero chances that they won't.
    • Re:Martian Life... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rebelcool (247749)
      yeah like how the immune system doesnt deal with ever-changing and evolving new things like cold and flu viruses...

      oh wait... heh.

      immune systems attack anything remotely suspicious and sometimes even things that they shouldnt, like ones own cells. thats what an allergic response is. martian bacteria wouldn't do anything pathologically interesting compared to what millions of years of bacterial evolution have done on earth.

  • by OneArmedMan (606657) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:25AM (#11762860)
    this movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084787/ [imdb.com] The Thing.!?

    Sometimes its a good idea to leave that frozen stuff the way you found it.
  • Still No Martians (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Witchblade (9771) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:45AM (#11763123) Homepage

    This is a great discovery, but only for what it tells us about what things were like 32,000 years ago. Everytime something like this is discovered everybody immediately jumps up and down about life on Mars. At this point it's pretty damn clear that life has found ways to survive everywhere on Earth from the highest clouds to somewhere around the planet's core. But it didn't start there. All of these discoveries are the harshest possible environments on Earth- but they're more like the best conditions on Mars. In fact each new discovery makes the odds of finding life on Mars less- if it's so easy to find life in such amazingly cold and barren conditions why have we still found nothing on Mars that isn't, at best, something that isn't easily made by simple geological (areological?) chemical processes? (But also, sometimes, are by-products of living things.)

    Then again no one's gotten a chance to really peak under any Martian rocks. Yet...

    • All of these discoveries are the harshest possible environments on Earth - but they're more like the best conditions on Mars. In fact each new discovery makes the odds of finding life on Mars less

      Good point, but if life evolved when Mars was warmer and wetter, frozen in the seas might be Martian extremophiles who were the last to succumb to their climate change.
  • It's all 5, Funny until an entire (human) race gets obliterated by Martian bacteria...
  • by yuckysocks (806608) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:53AM (#11763213) Homepage Journal
    The basic way to date ice samples is pretty similar to "endochronology"
    (which is looking at tree rings to determine their age). Ice cores [secretsoftheice.org]
    have similar striations which can be counted to determine the age of the
    surrounding ice.

    And I couldn't find a link, but I thought at one point
    scientists were looking at the air composition inside the ice and comparing
    it to historical atmospheric ratios of gasses to date things.
  • by wikinerd (809585) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @12:54AM (#11763234) Journal
    we found that bacteria can live after 32000 years in frozen condition and we are considering the possibility of Martian bacteria, but we still don't know all bacteria living on Earth. We explore other planets and we know very little about our own planet. For example, we recently identified three new bacteria species [wikinerds.org] by closely examining publicly available DNA data. It is surprisingly how easily we can look at a DNA sequence and miss vital information in it. All that data were available to all scientists, but just one understood that there were new species footprints hiding in them.
  • by FreshMeat-BWG (541411) <bengoodwyn@@@me...com> on Thursday February 24, 2005 @01:19AM (#11763385) Homepage
    A more interesting scenario to me would be one where it is discovered that these organisms, when thawed, begin multiplying and emitting quantities of gasses (or have some other global effect) whereby the effects of global warming are reversed until they are frozen again, thus bringing our planet back into harmony again.

    Or then again, maybe everyone else is right and they are just going to kill us.

  • The abstract [sgmjournals.org] of the research paper says that this 'new' bacteria, Carnobacterium pleistocenium, has a 99.8% similarity to Carnobacterium alterfunditum, as determined by gene sequence. I don't have access to this journal, so perhaps someone can fill in the details (how do these frozen bacteria differ from their modern day relatives and/or descendants?).

    Phylochronology [confex.com] is a new field that proposes studying molecular evolution on both spatial and temporal scales, using the tools of aDNA [plosbiology.org] and paleontology. He

    • "Carnobacterium pleistocenium, has a 99.8% similarity to Carnobacterium alterfunditum
      "
      Not quite. 99.8% refers to the similarity between a specific gene common to both (all) bacteria. The gene in question codes for ribosomal RNA of the 16s subunit. It is required for protein synthesis. Due to its importance not too many mutations normally occur in it. Most mutations are lethal.

      Overal their DNA was only 39 % the same. Unfortunately I don't have full access either :( although this early on I doubt they'd
  • I remember a great old Scifi movie (with the usual commentary by Mike, Servo, and Crow on MST3K) called The Deadly Mantis. It's about a giant preying mantis (that can fly) trapped in the antartic ice but freed when the ice shelf it's in breaks up. Of course, the first thing it does is waste the air force base, then heads south to take out Washington DC. Fortunately, there's an expert on bugs or radioactive mutations, or wearing suits on the big screen or something like, who follows it into a tunnel and kill
  • by Linuxathome (242573) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @02:04AM (#11763708) Homepage Journal
    Thawing out old bacteria [space.com] is not a new discovery--what's interesting here is that it is older bacteria.

    The more interesting question about possible unicellular organisms in Mars is whether they share a common ancestor with Earth's unicellular organisms or did they develop independently of each other. If there is a link/common ancestor, then the currently weak theory of panspermia (life exists and is distributed throughout the universe in the form of germs or spores) [google.com] would have a big boost in support. Also see this article about possible space bugs [space.com] written over 2 years ago.
  • Two issues (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rei (128717) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @02:46AM (#11763904) Homepage
    1. It's "possible ice sea", not "ice sea". The paper hasn't even been peer reviewed yet, let alone actually examined for the presence of ice, let alone liquid water. There is just as much reason to believe that it's *not* an ice sea (similarity to regions viewed as volcanic flows, the rate of sublimation of even insulated ice as Mars' equatorial temperatures, and greatly exaggerated claims about things like the viscosity of ice vs. lava).

    What's with this culture of "one scientific team says so, so it is an absolute fact"? That's why you all were suckered by the "methane from life" claim that turned out to have been a misinterpreted overheard conversation at a party.

    2. Why was Mars even mentioned at all? We're talking about Earth life here; if there is any life on Mars, it will likely be playing by significantly different "rules" at a molecular level. This discovery on its own was neat; no need to try and jazz it up by trying to distantly connect it with Mars.
  • New type? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Orlando (12257) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:05AM (#11764006) Homepage
    a new type of bacteria that after being frozen 32,000 years

    This is obviously a meaning for the word new I hadn't previously come across
  • by imipak (254310) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @07:32AM (#11765024) Journal
    This is no biggy. The BBC has a report today [bbc.co.uk] on microbes found 400m below the earth's surface inside solid rock that are at least sixteen million years old. That's right, the same actual cells, not the colony, individual bacteria cells... 'practically immortal', as the article says. The discoverers speculate that life may originally have evolved underfound as the surface was being regularly sterilised by impacts in the early epochs of earth's history. I leave the implications for life on Mars as an exercise for the reader ;)
  • by handy_vandal (606174) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @10:27AM (#11765957) Homepage Journal
    From the preface to The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
    "In 1949 some friends and I came upon a noteworthy news item in Nature, a magazine of the Academy of Sciences. It reported in tiny type that in the course of excavations on the Kolyma River a subterranean ice lens had been discovered which was actually a frozen stream-and in it were found frozen specimens of prehistoric fauna some tens of thousands of years old. Whether fish or salamander, these were preserved in so fresh a state, the scientific correspondent reported, that those present immediately broke open the ice encasing the specimens and devoured them with relish on the spot."

    - Source [wnec.edu]
    -kgj

Contemptuous lights flashed flashed across the computer's console. -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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