Gizmodo's 2018 article Russian Scientists Claim to Have Resurrected 40,000-Year-Old Worms Buried in Ice says:
A team of Russian scientists is lining themselves up to be the opening cast of a John Carpenter film. Earlier this month, in the journal Doklady Biological Sciences (Viable Nematodes from Late Pleistocene Permafrost of the Kolyma River Lowland), they announced they had discovered ancient nematode worms that were able to resurrect themselves after spending at least 32,000 years buried in permafrost.
The discovery, if legitimate, would represent the longest-surviving return from the cold ever seen in a complex, multi-celled organism, dwarfing even the tardigrade. [...]
It’s definitely not out of the question that these worms could have been revived after so long, according to Robin M. Giblin-Davis, a nematologist and acting director of the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center at the University of Florida.
“Theoretically, it is possible that if the organisms are protected from physical damage that would compromise their structural integrity during their frozen internment, they should be able to revive upon thawing/rehydration for very long periods of time,” he told Gizmodo via email.
At the same time, the team’s findings could still be a dud. “The biggest issue is the potential for contamination of ‘ancient samples’ with ‘contemporary’ organisms,” he said.
While the researchers do admit the possibility of contamination in the paper, they say it’s unlikely. They cited strict procedures to ensure complete sterility. And given that the ice samples were buried 100 feet and 15 feet down, respectively, they argue it’s implausible modern day nematodes could have wormed their way that deep.
The researchers identified some of the worms in the 32,000-year-old sample as belonging to the genus Panagrolaimus, and some of the worms in the 40,000-year-old one as part of the genus Plectus. Byron J. Adams, a nematologist at Brigham Young University who has studied nematode species capable of surviving extreme conditions, said the researchers’ claims seem credible, based on what we know about the biology of some modern-day nematodes.
“I’d love for it to be true,” Adams told Gizmodo. “We see what we think are prolonged stasis in Plectus and Panagrolaimus in Antarctica but have difficulty carbon dating them.”
and contains the image shown below.
Question: It's now been three years; has this July 2018 report of nematodes frozen for 30 to 40,000 years been confirmed? Has Carbon 14 dating confirmed their age? Since this period is many half-lives, there should be very little remaining Carbon 14 and and at least their approximate age should be straightforward to confirm and contamination with "contemporary organisms" fairly easy to rule out.
Selected images of the frozen worms said to be recovered from ancient permafrost samples dating back at least 32,000 years ago. Image: Shatilovich, et al. (Doklady Biological Sciences)
Background and relevance:
Genesis crash site scenery; An earlier sample return mission broke open upon impact and exposed contents to the environment
This now has renewed interest because of another long-permafrost-preserved animal's ability to survive:
- This animal survived 24,000 years frozen in the Siberian permafrost
- Frozen in Siberian Permafrost for 24,000 Years, Microscopic Animal Comes Back to Life
“The takeaway is that a multicellular organism can be frozen and stored as such for thousands of years and then return back to life—a dream of many fiction writers,” said (Stas) Malavin. (a co-author of the study A living bdelloid rotifer from 24,000-year-old Arctic permafrost)
From Wikipedia's Bdelloidea:
The main characteristics that distinguish bdelloids from related groups of rotifers are exclusively parthenogenetic reproduction and the ability to survive in dry, harsh environments by entering a state of desiccation-induced dormancy (anhydrobiosis) at any life stage. They are often referred to as "ancient asexuals" due to their unique asexual history that spans back to over 25 million years ago through fossil evidence.