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Scientists Find 50,000-Year-Old Microbes in Mexican Mine - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London- In Naica, Mexico, researchers found ancient life forms of microbes trapped inside crystals, and revived them in the lab after they were in almost total slumber.

Penelope Boston, the head of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, said about 100 different kinds of microorganisms — most of them bacteria — have been found locked in Naica crystals for periods ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 years.

Ninety percent of them have never been observed before now, she said.

Researchers are expected to publish results they already announced in a scientific event. However, Researcher Boston actually released these results in the AAAS Forum in Boston, considered the biggest scientific event in the world.

Penelope Boston entered the caves where she found the bacteria for the first time in 2008, when she worked as a professor at New Mexico Institute; miners found these caves 100 years ago; they were filled with water, which forced workers to evacuate them. Researchers worked in these mines in soaring temperatures, and sometimes they wore cooling jackets.

Although other scientists previously found some types of microbes in these mines, the crystallized bacteria found this time were surprising; these new creatures grow in very hard conditions, as they do not need light, and draw their energy from minerals, according to Boston.

To revive these bacteria, Boston’s team imitated the environment these creatures were living in; however, this technique revived only some of these bacteria and not all.