In some pretty remarkable science news, a frozen animal has been brought back to life after 30 years, it has been reported.
Japan’s National Institute of Polar Research say their scientists managed to revive the ‘tardigrade’ animal, which they collected in Antartica.
The minuscule creatures – which are also known as ‘water bears’ – are water dwelling animals which measure less than 1mm in length and they live in pretty extreme conditions.
They are able to slow down or completely shut down their functions which help it live for huge amounts of time.
According to the research, which was published in Cryobiology magazine, these particular tardigrades were found among moss plants in Antartica back in 1983. They were removed before being stored at -20 degrees Celsius and successfully unfrozen in May 2014.
An egg and a living animal were revived, with the animal moving and eating food within a fortnight. It also laid 19 eggs, with 14 successfully hatching and no defects were reported among those newborns.
Tardigrades had previously been revived successfully after nine years, but this is believed to be the first ever successful revival after 30 years.
Writing in the research publication, the authors said:
The present study extends the known length of long-term survival in tardigrade species considerably. Further more detailed studies using quantitative analysis with greater replication under a range of controlled conditions will improve understanding of mechanisms and conditions underlying the long-term preservation and survival of animals.
This is a huge scientific breakthrough in our understanding of how these animals manage to survive for such long periods of time.