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Sleeping germs wake up after 100 million years buried under the sea



Microbes found themselves buried in dirt 101.5 million years ago, before even Tyrannosaurus rex when the largest meat-eating dinosaur on Earth, called Spinosaurus was passing through the planet. Time passed, the continents shifted, the oceans rose and fell, great apes emerged and eventually humans evolved with the curiosity and skill to dig those ancient cells. And now, in a Japanese lab, researchers have brought the organisms with single cells back to life.

Researchers aboard the drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution collected samples of sediment from the ocean floor 10 years ago. Samples came from 1008 feet (100 meters) below the 20,000-foot-deep (6,000 m) bottom of the Southern Gyre bottom. That’s a region of the Pacific Ocean that contains little nutrients and little oxygen available for life to live on, and researchers have been looking for data on how microbes are brought together in such a remote part of the world.


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