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Microbes Immortality Secret Revealed

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posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 05:48 PM

Scientists have discovered a novel genetic repair process that allows
a hardy desert microbe to die and resurrect over and over again.

The finding, detailed in the Sept. 28 issue of the journal Nature,
could lead to new forms of regenerative medicines and might even
allow scientists to one day bring dead cells in our own bodies back
to life.

Deinococcus radiodurans is a so-called extremophile bacterium that
can survive intense bouts of heat and UV radiation that shatters its
genome into hundreds of DNA fragments.
Without a genome, the microbe is effectively dead because it can't
synthesize the proteins necessary for life.
In only a few hours, though, Deinococcus can reassemble its genome
and return to life.

"This is the first case, I think, of a living cell that clinically dies—
its DNA is chopped into little pieces and it has no metabolism—when
desiccated, and yet, as long as it can reconstitute its genome, it recon-
stitutes its own life," said study team member Miroslav Radman of
Paris University in France.

The microbe is able to perform its remarkable feat because, like other
bacteria, it carries at least two, sometimes more, copies of its genome
and also because radiation damages DNA randomly.
So even if both genome copies are damaged, they likely aren't damaged
in the same spots. With the right tools, a microbe can piece together
what the original sequence was.


Pretty nifty little trick.
I can see this being used in genetic enhancement therapies for
individuals who are going to be exposed to higher than average

Just gos to showhow unique and different nature really is.

Comments, Opinions?

posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 05:51 PM
That's quite interesting. It would seem to me that this tactic could also be used on organs in the future.

posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 05:53 PM
wow, that is actually a very nice find, i have always believed that the secret of immortality lied with bacteria, since our cellular structure is infact that of an bacteria that invaded another bacteria and made the first cells that made advanced life forms possible.

now we just need to take the amino acids and copy them into our own dna, making sure that our rna can transmit the signals succesfully to our proteins, and voila, immortality.

EDIT: on a side note it is estimated that as much as 90% of all bacterias on earth lives underground and that the total mass would fill the entire earth with a 15 meter high layer of microbes if we where to put them all on our surface.

Bacterias are truly the kings of the earth.

[edit on 28-9-2006 by Tetragrammaton]

posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 06:09 PM
Also, its interesting to note, that some biologists now think there may be silicon based life living deep under the surface of the earth possibly very close to the molten underworld on which our continents float. Who really knows what can live deep down there.

[edit on 28-9-2006 by sardion2000]

posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 06:12 PM

Originally posted by sardion2000
Who really knows what can live deep down there.

[edit on 28-9-2006 by sardion2000]

How very true. I am not even sure what's the farthest we have been able to go into the earth's crust, but I have always felt that there are some surprises laying under our feet.

posted on Sep, 29 2006 @ 12:05 AM
That is really cool, I've never seen anything like that. I wonder if this means our definition of 'cell death' is incomplete, or whether this really is some kind of cellular resurrection. Either way, a very cool find.

I think it would be awesome if silicon life existed, especially if it existed on earth. I'm rather skeptical about it, but as has been said, we know so little about conditions within the earth that maybe it is possible. On a related subject, I once spoke to a nanotechnology professor, asking him why carbon formed the famous 'fullerenes' and why silicon, which has the same bonding structure (4 open valences) does not. He wasn't sure, but he suspected it was because silicon is a larger, heavier molecule and that it takes far more energy to bond in that kind of formation. Atoms like to bond in ways that take as little energy as possible. Such limitations may make silicon life forms either improbable or impossible. But who knows... I for one look forward to seeing silicon life discovered, or even any non carbon life.

posted on Sep, 29 2006 @ 12:20 AM
Well no one thought we'd find life near the black smokers and we did and discovered whole new means for survival strategies to play out in O2-poor environments. Stresses and temperatures near the molten sea could prove conducive to many new types of life. In fact, i'd be extremely surprised if there were absolutely no surprises whatsoever. I think we should relax our skeptism as that may blind us to obvious observations in the future. I'm not saying that we should all start believing in Silicon based reptillians or anything like that. All we should try is prove that we are wrong about the lack of Silicon-based life(on Earth and Elsewhere).

posted on Sep, 29 2006 @ 06:12 PM
That is WAY cool.

How about the humble amoeba, though? That's closer to us, being eukaryotic, but isn't *it* immortal?

maybe no

So this thing with the two genomes reassembles itself *how*? Some sort of DNA polymerase?


the silicon stuff is ace too, btw! - almost a 'non-carbon biogenic' theory for oil!

[edit on 29-9-2006 by TaupeDragon]

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