A new bacteria - which was found living in permafrost - is a scientific breakthrough that might be able to help us stay younger longer. The bacteria, which is reportedly 3.5 million years old, helped elderly mice reproduce. It has also shown positive impacts on human blood cells, fruit flies, and crops.
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Professor Sergey Petrof, the chief researcher at the Tyumen Scientific Center said that, "In all these experiments, Bacillus F stimulated the growth and also strengthened the immune system. The experiments on human erythrocytes and leucocytes were also very optimistic."
Found in Momaontova Gora in Siberia's Sahkha Republic in 2009, the results of the studies are just coming back now. A similar type of bacteria was also found in the brain of the extinct woolly mammoth which has been preserved in permafrost.
"We did a lot of experiments on mice and fruit flies and we saw the sustainable impact of our bacteria on their longevity and fertility,' said Dr Brouchkov. “But we do not know yet exactly how it works. In fact, we do not know exactly how aspirin works, for example, but it does. The same is true here: we cannot understand the mechanism, but we see the impact."
In what has now been called an "elixir of life," by scientists, there is still a lot of research to do. Epidemiologist Dr. Viktor Chernyavsky said: "The bacteria gives out biologically active substances throughout its life, which activates the immune status of experimental animals.' As a result, 'mice grannies not only began to dance, but also produced offspring."
The theory is that if that same substance were administered to people, they would have better health. Another use of the organisms is to destroy petroleum molecules to help clean up oil spills.
Dr. Brouchkov said "We have completed the deciphering of Bacillus DNA and, more importantly, we have completely restored a sequence of genes in it. This work was ongoing for several years and it finished at the end of last year. Now we face the most complicated task - the attempts to find out which genes are providing the longevity of bacteria, and which proteins are protecting the DNA structure from damages."
He then went on to say, according to the Daily Mail, "We want to understand the mechanisms of the protection of genome, the functioning of the genes. The key question is what provides the vitality of this bacteria, but it is as complicated as which human genes are responsible for cancer and how to cure it. The scale and complicity of the question are nearly the same."
He then goes on to say that while they don't know the exact age yet, but they believe they will be able to date it and that it is quite old.
Brouchkov has been looking for this bacteria for quite some time, because he wanted to know about ancient environments, not so much to find a fountain of youth.
He claimed: "I would say, there exist (in the world) immortal bacteria, immortal beings. They cannot die, to be more precise, they can protect themselves. Our cells are unable to protect themselves from damage. These bacteria cells are able to protect themselves. It would be great to find the mechanisms of protection from ageing, from damage and to use them to fight with our ageing. It's the main riddle of mankind and I believe we must work to solve it."
They are currently sending teams out elsewhere in the world to see if there is more to find in similar climates.
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They are continuing their research on plants and have created tougher, hardier plants and hope to get a grant to conduct further research on human blood cells.