BBC is not intimidating us all with news that researchers with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology have treated a colony of dormant microbes from the bottom of the South Pacific seabed like a packet of Sea Monkeys <tm>, fed them and given them plenty of oxygen, and found that the prehistoric little guys are now breeding happily in the lab:
“When I found them, I was first sceptical whether the findings are from some mistake or a failure in the experiment,” lead author Yuki Morono told AFP.
“We now know that there is no age limit for [organisms in the] sub-seafloor biosphere”.
Professor and study co-author Steven D’Hondt, from the University of Rhode Island, said the microbes came from the oldest samples taken from the seabed.
“In the oldest sediment we’ve drilled, with the least amount of food, there are still living organisms, and they can wake up, grow and multiply,” he said.