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← Huge hidden biomass lives deep beneath the oceans

Sigmund's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Sigmund

There are sound biochemical reasons to doubt whether a single cell can be 111 million years old. DNA as a molecule, while quite stable compared to many others, is subject to degradation - radioisotopic derived cleavage from isotopes of phosphorus etc.
This puts limits for the length of time a single DNA strand can remain intact - probably somewhere in the order of tens of thousands of years.
That is one of the reasons why the Jurassic Park strategy of reviving dinosaurs doesn't now make scientific sense.
On the other hand the bacteria may have strong repair processes that fix the errors that creep in over time - but I highly doubt they could do it sufficiently well to allow the same cell to survive without replicating for 111 million years resulting in an ancient cell that is now capable of dividing.

Sun, 25 May 2008 00:51:00 UTC | #175029