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Prehistoric bacteria revived from buried salt

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posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 09:25 AM
I seen a National Geographic Channel television program on this not too long ago. I thought the topic was very interesting. Microbes trapped in salt deposits that are supposedly millions of years old.

Scientists have revived a 250 million-year-old unit of bacteria found buried beneath the earth—the oldest living thing ever brought back to life. The organism was found in a tiny, fluid-filled bubble inside a salt crystal 1,850 feet underground, about 30 miles east of Carlsbad, N.M., when scientists pulled about 220 pounds of rock salt from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, an underground nuclear waste dump. Fifty-six crystals that showed no signs of contamination were sampled for the presence of bacteria. "Unlike amber or rocks or permafrost, salt is not an impermeable material," he said.One crystal the size of a large postage stamp contained the organism. Two other strains of bacteria were found and are being studied. If the discovery by Pennsylvania and Texas researchers holds true, it could help biologists calibrate the evolutionary clock—a timeline of how species developed over time—for the bacterium and its present-day relatives, said Russell Vreeland, a study author and biologist at Pennsylvania's West Chester University.

This is all well and good. The part that has me thinking is that we are using this New Mexico salt mine as a nuclear waste dump. So what?

"Unlike amber or rocks or permafrost, salt is not an impermeable material," he said.

What could be the effect of our nuclear waste getting absorbed into these microbes? Then what could be the effect of our bringing them back to life? What if we accidentally create a monster?

posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 09:35 AM
What worries me most is our own immunity to extinct bacteria. If such a bacteria happened to be released into our environment, it might just find a few things exactly to it's liking and rapidly reproduce, having no known impediment to it's existence. Our own immune systems might not recognise the problem until too late causing wide spread disease.

I hope they examine this bacteria in a secure clean facility with no chance of it's escape.

posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 09:52 AM
I'm not sure that the radiation would have much chance of creating a monster because the ancient bacteria were dormant and that means that there's no reproduction and that means no chromosomal replication where radiation induced mutations/errors could be introduced.

I agree that storing radioactive waste in permiable geological material is worrisome.

posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 10:01 AM
COMING SOON to a Pandemic near you, yes , its the extinct bacteria virus, with a little swine, avian and human flu mixed in for good measure, of course the Swine/avian/human flu wasn't added by labs, the extinct flu mutated and assimilated these viruses and added to its own lethality.

But don't worry help is at hand , with vaccines made by your favourite local Pharma companies featuring GlaxoSmithKline as the Vaccine Company Man , who along with his trusty side kick , M.Chan as the SuperSpin Girl..... will eradicate this troublesome virus by heroically eradicating those infected.

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