age of oldest living micro-organism

Tom McCloud McCloud at dtpax2.ncifcrf.gov
Tue Dec 10 17:27:40 EST 1996

JJF at novo.dk wrote:
>  how long a resting micro-organism (also spores) can survive 
> in deep surfaces layers? Is it possible to isolate "old"
> bacteria species from drilling core samples dating back 
> thousands or even millions of years? And last not least 
> is it possible to revive them on agar plates?

I recall an interesting poster that was presented at the 1992 APS/MSA
meetings in Portland, Oregon:   from the program book " A Study of
Microbes Entrapped in Glacial Ice by C.M. Catranis and W.T. Starmer,
Mikrobios Corp and Syracuse Univ."    As I recall it they had
successfully revived about a dozen species of fungi recovered from ice
cores drilled from the Greenland ice cap at depths exceeding a mile.  I
don't recall how old that was supposed to make them, but it's got to be
10 or 20,000 years, doesn't it?   Perhaps in the past 4 years they have
published their results somewhere, but I have not checked.  I would be
interested in learning more about this if anyone checks into the
details.    Tom McCLoud   SAIC/Frederick Cancer Research

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