Scientists believe that they may have found the “fountain of youth” in the Siberian permafrost.
Russian scientists claim to be making progress in adapting a 3.5 million year old “eternal” bacteria named Bacillus F to improve the longevity of humans. They are claiming to have unlocked the DNA of this cold-immune “scientific sensation” and are now seeking to understand the genes which have allowed its extraordinary survival in the Siberian permafrost.
Tests on living organisms, notably human blood cells, mice, fruit flies and crops, all show a positive effect. Professor Sergey Petrov, chief researcher at Tyumen Scientific Center, said, “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.”
The bacteria was discovered in 2009 by Dr. Anatoli Brouchkov, head of the Geocryology Department of Moscow State University. It was embedded in ancient permafrost at a site known as Mammoth Mountain in the Sakha Republic, also known as Yakutia, the largest region in Siberia.
Similar bacteria were discovered by Siberian scientist Vladimir Repin in the brain of an extinct woolly mammoth preserved by 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. For now we cannot understand the mechanism, but we see the impact.”
Epidemiologist Dr. Viktor Chernyavsky said, “The bacteria gives out biologically active substances throughout its life, which activates the immune status of experimental animals.” Calling it a “scientific sensation,” he said “mice grannies not only began to dance, but also produced offspring.” If the same substance were to be given to people, it could cause a significant improvement in their health, leading to the discovery of an “elixir of life” said Dr. Chernyavsky.
Another strain of ancient bacteria is potentially capable of destroying petroleum molecules, turning them into water, with the potential one day to create a new system for cleaning up oil spills. And a third strain of ancient bacteria is capable of eliminating cellulose molecules.
Dr. Brouchkov said, “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 said the permafrost where the bacteria was found is estimated to be around 3.5 million years old. “This bacteria was isolated from the outer world in ice, so we are quite sure that this bacteria was kept in the permafrost for such a long time. Yet we are still working to prove this.” He claimed, “I would say, there exist (in the world) immortal bacteria, immortal beings. They cannot die, to 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 aging, from damage and to use them to fight with our aging. It’s is the main riddle of mankind and I believe we must work to solve it. Now we have a key, ancient bacteria, which scientists have found in an extreme and ancient environment.”
Professor Petrov further explained that experiments show the bacteria “stimulates the growth of crops, increases productivity.” He added that frost resistance is also significantly improved.