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Biotech Earth Science

Bacteria Found Alive In Ice 120,000 Years Old 326

Posted by kdawson
from the by-some-definitions-of-alive dept.
FiReaNGeL notes research presented this morning at Penn State on the discovery of a new, ultra-small species of bacteria that has survived for more than 120,000 years within the ice of a Greenland glacier at a depth of nearly two miles. From the psu.edu announcement: "The microorganism's ability to persist in this low-temperature, high-pressure, reduced-oxygen, and nutrient-poor habitat makes it particularly useful for studying how life, in general, can survive in a variety of extreme environments on Earth and possibly elsewhere in the solar system. This new species is among the ubiquitous, yet mysterious, ultra-small bacteria, which are so tiny that they are able to pass through microbiological filters. Called Chryseobacterium greenlandensis, the species is related genetically to certain bacteria found in fish, marine mud, and the roots of some plants."
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Bacteria Found Alive In Ice 120,000 Years Old

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  • by eieken (635333) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @05:53PM (#23644397) Homepage
    To pass through a microbiological filter, how did they find it? The article states how they study the bacteria, but how did they know to process this one specific piece of ice for ancient bacteria? Were they just going through thousands of tons of ancient ice core and happened upon it by accident?
  • Phoenix (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lilfields (961485) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @06:14PM (#23644669) Homepage
    When I first read the headline I was hoping it was the a "life on Mars" discovery from the Phoenix...article doesn't deliver...

    Though I do wonder if this has implications for the Mars mission?
  • by genericpoweruser (1223032) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @06:32PM (#23644851)
    Are you saying there are 4 billion Christians? Is that true? I always imagined it was pretty evenly split between Christianity, Muslim, and Buddhism.
  • by aepervius (535155) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @12:00AM (#23647437)
    You should take some logic courses. Which is why the burden of proof is NOT on "proving there is no God", but rather on "proving there is a God". Since the second is also a shaky proposition (up to now the number of evidence which stand even a slight scrutinies is equal to zero), ANY God's existence (Christian or not) stand to be forever on the SAME level as the existence of gnome, leprechauns, dragon, santa and unicorns. The difference is the number of people believing in all those things without having any evidences whatsoever, and that last point is neither a point for or against a more probable existence of any gods. Contrary to what many people believe, the probability existence of a gods is not linked to the amount of believer it was worshiped by. Actually it was the-goddess-mother (the one worshiped 20K-30K or more years ago) the only goddess of creation, and since then we are all screwed because we switched from matriarchal to patriarchal gods, and she don't like that one a bit.
  • You have your chance to ask now.

    I ask, but funny enough, nothing happens. I also ask Ra and Zeus to appear, and the identical thing happens.

    And you will definitely have your chance in the future.

    Should that happen, I will definitely ask him why he set up such a stupid system. If he wanted to be worshipped, he shouldn't have set everything up to appear as though he doesn't exist, and he shouldn't have made religion so absurdly irrational. I'd also probably ask him why, if he's all powerful, why he cares whether we worship him or not. Does it hurt his feelings or something? Or maybe he needs the ego stroke? If I was setting up a universe as my plaything and/or experiment, I'd hardly care about whether the individual pawns are worshipping me. It's kind of like caring whether people in The Sims are aware that a god outside their universe is watching them.

    Or maybe that's the point of the experiment -- give people intelligence, sprinkle a few hints early on in ancient history, then put mountains of contrary evidence around, and see how long people take to overcome the early conditioning that God existed.

    In fact -- I bet that's it! God will reward those who don't believe in him, because they used the intelligence God gave them to overcome irrationality and the fear instilled by the church. The ones who will be punished are the ones who rejected the intelligence that God gave them. If I was God, that's how I would dole out rewards. And given that God is rational and intelligent (though, the Old Testament kind of argues against both those, but I digress), this is clearly what will happen, should there actually be an afterlife. Better repent your beliefs now, just in case I'm right!

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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