Last month, we talked about French scientists uncovering an ancient virus from Siberia that they plan to resurrect in their lab. Well, this time around, the gamble is taken to a whole new level, with a Russian scientist injecting himself with 3.5 million-year old bacteria that was salvaged from the permafrost region of Siberia. The man in question here – Anatoli Brouchkov, envisions this antediluvian bacteria as a sort of ‘elixir of youth’ that could possibly lengthen his life. And, while he doesn’t really know how such an incredible biological scope could work, he put forth the example of aspirin and lack of prevalent knowledge regarding this common medication.
Now, while the aforementioned French scientists made their credible hypothesis on how such ancient microorganisms can be potentially harmful to humans, Brouchkov is apparently not concerned about any baleful effects. According to him, this particular bacterial strain has been in contact with the local Yakut people of Siberia on account of the permafrost thawing. He also claims to have further noticed that instead of having any adverse effect, the bacteria seems to have induced better health and longer lifespans in the native human population, when compared to other nations.
Simply put, Brouchkov believes that the bacteria can be administered in small dosages to humans for basically lengthening their life. And, while this might very well be a (possibly dangerous) long shot, the bacteria did show improved vitality and reproductive capacity when injected in old female mice specimens. Moreover, the microorganism seemingly also played its part in healing damaged plants.
On the other side of the coin, the recently discovered 30,000-year old Mollivirus sibericum (from Siberia) exhibits a biologically complex structure with a whopping 500 genes. For comparison’s sake, the Influenza A virus has only 8 genes. Such remarkable differences in complexity alludes to the potentially greater adaptability of the ancient microorganisms. In other words, some of these dormant microbes can make easy targets of humans as their vulnerable hosts.