March 8, 2011
Earth: Alive — Bacteria Back From The Brink
In 1993, "Jurassic Park" thrilled the world with the idea that dinosaurs could be resurrected from bits of DNA preserved in mosquitoes trapped in ancient amber. In the 18 years since the movie came out, scientists have been finding that parts of this scenario are closer to reality than anyone ever imagined: Researchers have found microbes living for tens of thousands - and maybe millions - of years inside salt crystals.
These findings raise exciting questions, as EARTH explores in "Bacteria Back From the Brink" in the April issue. Could these hibernating microbes be brought back to active life today? If so, what can such microbes tell us about ancient life on Earth? And could similar microbes also be living on other planets?
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