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Microscopic creature frozen for 24,000 years brought back to life

A microscopic water organism has been brought back to life after being preserved for 24,000 years in Siberia’s permafrost.

Scientists dug up the creature – known as a bdelloid rotifer – in the Russian Arctic, where it had spent millennia in cryptobiosis, a state of almost completely arrested metabolism. Once thawed, the ancient creature reproduced asexually. It has a gut and brain and can withstand extreme low temperatures and oxygen.

It is the longest reported case of rotifer survival in a frozen state, researchers said in a study published on Monday. The discovery is significant for the study of preserving living organisms.

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