Photo: Frozen Bacteria Repair Own DNA for Millennia



A hiker stands on top of an ice-sand formation in the Kodar region of Siberia in Russia.

Ancient bacteria taken from the Siberian permafrost show that the organisms can survive in deep freeze for hundreds of thousands of years by staying just alive enough to keep their DNA in good repair.

The work suggests that if life existed on Mars or other distant, icy worlds, it might still survive trapped in frozen soils.

Photograph by Barry Tessman/NGS


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