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8 Million Year Old Bacteria Thaws, Lives

CmdrTaco posted about 7 years ago | from the gonna-need-more-antibiotics dept.

Science 345

Jamie found a New Scientist story about 8 million year old bacteria that scientists thawed out, and now it's alive. Also somehow they are sure that this is safe. The interesting bit is that since these samples came from ancient ice, it seems that the world will naturally be filled with these guys soon.

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Welcome (5, Funny)

amigabill (146897) | about 7 years ago | (#20142093)

I for one welcome our new microscopic overlords.

Re:Welcome (5, Funny)

lonechicken (1046406) | about 7 years ago | (#20142177)

I for one welcome our new microscopic overlords.
You mean "old."

Re:Welcome (2, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | about 7 years ago | (#20142265)

New to you, or pre-owned...
or would that be pre-pwn3d?

Re:Welcome (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142555)

or would that be pre-pwn3d?
No, pre-pwn3d is when someone sells you a 3 year old Windows box.

Re:Welcome (2, Funny)

eviloverlordx (99809) | about 7 years ago | (#20142285)

I guess the stars were right.

Re:Welcome (2, Funny)

shelterpaw (959576) | about 7 years ago | (#20142703)

"old" is the new "new"

Re:Welcome (2, Funny)

Rhaban (987410) | about 7 years ago | (#20142257)

I for one welcome our very very old microscopic overlords.
better that way.

Re:Welcome (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | about 7 years ago | (#20142491)

I for one welcome our new microscopic overlords.


I don't. I just spent a year working with my dermatologist and infectious disease specialist to get rid of a resistant strain of crap on my skin which culminated in a cellulitis infection. I definitely don't ever want to go through that again.

Re:Welcome (0, Redundant)

An anonymous reader (1058644) | about 7 years ago | (#20142671)

In Soviet Russia bacteria freezes you!
All your germs belong to us!
Now, let me go get my tinfoil hat out of the freezer... Oh wait...

Typical misleading summary... (5, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 7 years ago | (#20142103)

...designed to get people up in arms.

The summary ominously notes:

[...] somehow they are sure that this is safe. The interesting bit is that since these samples came from ancient ice, it seems that the world will naturally be filled with these guys soon.

...filed, of course, under "gonna-need-more-antibiotics".

Except the article says:

This is nothing to worry about, say experts, because the process has been going on for billions of years and the bugs are unlikely to cause human disease.

[...]

Paul Falkowski of Rutgers University, who led the study, [...] does not believe this is cause for concern because marine bacteria and viruses are typically far less harmful to human health than, for instance, those found on land.

Russell Vreeland of the Ancient Biomaterials Institute at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, US, agrees. "This has been happening probably for a long, long time. Ice freezes and melts, rocks sink and are eroded. Microbes have been involved with this process for almost 4 billion years," says Vreeland, who has resuscitated 250-million year-old bacteria found in salt crystals. "Earth acts as a gene bank for microbes."


So, what's "new" here is that a researcher has actually intentionally taken frozen microbes from the oldest known ice and successfully resuscitated them in a laboratory setting. The Earth has been doing this on its own for billions of years.

I'm sure this comments will be filled with the likes of:

- By ignoring the undeniable truth that global warming is due to human behavior, we are toying with balances we can't possibly understand, and now may even be releasing ancient microbes into the environment whose dangers we don't yet know!

- Even if the Earth has been doing this on its own, we are unnaturally accelerating it; therefore, the potential release of these microbes must be bad!

- This may be a natural process, but humans may not have existed on Earth the last time this occurred, therefore we can't predict the possible harm to humanity!

...all tied in, of course, to the fact that we should be working on ways to "stop" climate change, predicated on the belief that any negative climate change is due exclusively to human activity beyond any shadow of scientific doubt, and that no climate change can ever be a net positive, especially when caused by human activity, when there are in truth far more factors involved, even if human activity is a large one. (Note: I am not saying global warming is "positive" or that human activity isn't a component; I am saying that it is inaccurate to cloak anything in self-serving absolutes.)

The interesting intersection here is that such a transition may occur while humans are present on Earth. This is not necessarily a "good" or a "bad" thing...it just is. Humans have learned to manipulate and adapt to their environment for millennia, both on long and short term bases. Artificial change cannot intrinsically be defined as better or worse than natural change. Some of this change may have a negative impact on human existence on Earth; some may not.

This does not mean that we should be raping the environment or ignoring any danger. But the single-mindedness of climate change activists is somewhat disturbing. They view climate change in a vacuum, separated from all other concerns, and that is simply a foolish and counterproductive position to take.

Ever wonder why there are so many global warming deniers? It's because of the attitude taken by fanatic, self-righteous global warming alarmists. We'd be a lot better served by real discussions - which are, unfortunately, far too complex for most people on either side of the "political" global warming debate to understand - than one alarmist global warming story after another.

The issues - social, economic, scientific, and so on - surrounding "climate change" deserve a far better treatment, even in slashdot comments, than berating Chevy Suburbans, Big Oil, and fat, lazy, greedy Americans.

truly amazing (5, Funny)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | about 7 years ago | (#20142253)

you typed all that in under 4 minutes. (story posted at 11:01, comment posted at 11:05)

want to document my code for me? shouldn't take you long

Re:truly amazing (5, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 7 years ago | (#20142511)

/*
you typed all that in under 4 minutes. (story posted at 11:01, comment posted at 11:05)
want to document my code for me? shouldn't take you long
*/
You're right- that was fast!

Re:truly amazing (4, Funny)

eno2001 (527078) | about 7 years ago | (#20142535)

He does what I do. You write and write and write all over the net. Sometimes as a troll, sometimes honestly, sometimes just to take the piss. Then you archive everything you write waiting for the right article to post in. But, if it would make you happy, I have a ton of documentation I've written for applications that may at some time in the future exist. If you have an app that matched, I'd be happy to send you a copy. :)

Re:truly amazing (5, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | about 7 years ago | (#20142567)

Remember - subscribers can see articles in the future. What seemed like 4 minutes to your disconnected asse was actually 2 hours to his connected asse.

Ok, everyone laugh and point at #537955 so he can complete his initiation and we can move on to the next chodderhead.

Re:truly amazing (2, Insightful)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | about 7 years ago | (#20142623)

asse? chodderhead?

are you bulgarian or something?

Re:truly amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142795)

Even then we get modded redundant because the post above ours is similar even though the post time and date are exactly the same or within 5 minutes: some people need to pay closer attention before reducing someones karma because they posted something they had been working on for a few minutes just because someone thought of the same thing. It's a big world so it happens and is no reason to do that, if it was 30 minutes after that post then I can understand that mod.

Re:truly amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20143059)

hehehhehhahahahhehe--->------->537955 hehehehahehaheheheh!

Hey man - what's up? What'r ya doin?

Nothin' much - just pointing and laughing at 537955. C'mon - help me out. Loads o' fun!

Ok, but I get to point!!

Hold on, man. You got to point last time. It's my turn to point, so if we're go'in to do this together, you should be the one laughin.

Ohhh, dude. You know I'm much better at pointing. Give it up, ok?

awrightawrightawright... I'll laugh and you - wait. Where'd he go? Did he leave? That's weak - OK! I see him! He's trying to hide behind that bookmark. hehehhehhahahahhehe--->---->-------> 537955 hehehehahehaheheheh!

Re:Typical misleading summary... (3, Insightful)

AndersOSU (873247) | about 7 years ago | (#20142261)

Furthermore, the bacteria in question is almost certainly safe because it evolved 4 mya, in the ocean, in the absence of humans, and likely in absence of a dense population of mammals of any kind. Now ask yourself, how many bacteria are there, and how many are harmful to humans. Further, probe how the few harmful strains became that way, and you'll find that they almost all developed as a result of centuries to millennia of interaction with dense populations of humans and other domesticated animals. The likelihood of a bacteria isolated from humans that is harmful to humans is so small as to be negligible. We might as well be worried about pushing asteroids off course...

Re:Typical misleading summary... (4, Interesting)

TheMeuge (645043) | about 7 years ago | (#20143027)

Furthermore, the bacteria in question is almost certainly safe because it evolved 4 mya, in the ocean, in the absence of humans
On the other hand, you can also assume that our immune system isn't prepared to deal with this bacteria, which may be the more insidious problem in this case. Even if the bacteria WASN'T a human pathogen, doesn't mean it ISN'T going to become one, if given the opportunity.
I don't think these bugs are the Andromeda Strain, but I'd be pretty careful to use sterile technique with them, at least until I put them into mice and saw what happened.

Re:Typical misleading summary... (4, Funny)

DataBroker (964208) | about 7 years ago | (#20142273)

Wow! Did you realize that you wrote more words (660) than were in the whole of TFA (610)?

And you still missed the fact that the article is obviously all lies since the world simply may not contain 8 million year-old bacteria since it is 6,000 years old.

Re:Typical misleading summary... (0, Flamebait)

bytesex (112972) | about 7 years ago | (#20142303)

This is a discussion website. Just thought I'd mention it. When writing posts that are such universes of thesis/antithesis/synthesis, you shouldn't be surprised when you get essentially zero replies. But then again, that doesn't seem to be your objective at all - you just like to hear yourself speak, I suppose. Aw, that was ugly, but I hope you get my meaning - leave some room in people's heads, will you ?

You're right (-1, Flamebait)

kahei (466208) | about 7 years ago | (#20142313)


You're so right. People are worried about climate change when they really shouldn't be. People who want to examine or react to climate change are ranting absolutists who can't see beyond the irrational beliefs they have forged for themselves. People are mean to Americans and it's naughty of them. Messages that make you uncomfortable do come from 'fanatic self-righteous alarmists' and there's no reason for you to have to think about them. It's all going to be all right.

Right, did that pacify your inner demons enough that the grown-ups now free to talk about bacteria?

Good. Sleep tight. If an actual global warming thread comes up, or an anti-American anti-Human fanatic criticizes the Republican Party, you can get this message out and re-read it and feel better.

Re:You're right (3, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | about 7 years ago | (#20142493)

Did it really not occur to you that by being a smug, self-righteous, arrogant prick in your response you were validating his point of view? Or was that what you were trying to do?

-Peter

Re:Typical misleading summary... (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 7 years ago | (#20142357)

Wow... such a promising post... and then almost halfway through you suffered an ischemic stroke. Somebody give this guy mod points; he's having a lousy day.

Re:Typical misleading summary... (4, Insightful)

Kamots (321174) | about 7 years ago | (#20142369)

"We'd be a lot better served by real discussions"

Indeed.

But there is no possibility of real discussions so long as one party to the discussions refuses to acknowledge that there is a potential problem. The preponderance of evidence says that global warming is happening and that it is anthropogenic.

What should be done about that? Anything?

Who knows... there hasn't been an opportunity to discuss that. Instead, all of the efforts made by the non-fanatics has been focused on attempting to educate the large proportion of the population who are sadly actively working at remaining ignorant in an attempt to completely ignore the issue by denying that there is an issue.

If you really want real discussion, then work at getting people to admit that global warming exists. Until that happens there can't be any discussion of what actions to take, or even if we should take any action at all.

Re:Typical misleading summary... (4, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | about 7 years ago | (#20142549)

But there is no possibility of real discussions so long as one party to the discussions refuses to acknowledge that there is a potential problem.

And I think that what you said there supports his whole point, that one party refuses to acknowledge that there may not be a problem.

He never denied that climate change is hapening, nor that we aren't contributing to it. Enough with the strawmen, and respond to what he actually said next time.

Re:Typical misleading summary... (0)

Tyler Durden (136036) | about 7 years ago | (#20142385)

Wow, that's pretty good. You managed to take an article regarding resuscitating an ancient bacteria and then launch into an emotional, off-topic screed against the whole Global Warming movement. Got some karma points off of it too. Congratulations.

Re:Typical misleading summary... (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 7 years ago | (#20142793)

You must be incredibly naive. CmdrTaco is part of the massive Global Warming conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious vehicular fluids!

Re:Typical misleading summary... (1)

brkello (642429) | about 7 years ago | (#20142395)

Wow...talk about over reacting. Sometimes human meddling does have bad effects. Fine, marine bacteria is generally less harmful to humans. What if this was one that was atypical? What if it wouldn't be a problem if it was reintroduced in to the environment naturally rather than melting it in a lab? Yes, probably everything is fine...but I understand where the summary is coming from.

As far as your nutso rant on global warming. That isn't even mentioned in the summary and you are jumping in before any comments about it were even made. You are just hyper-sensitive about the issue (maybe you listen to too much Dennis Miller?). The ice is melting...for whatever reason...so I don't really see why that matters.

As far as the global warming deniers go, that's just stupid. Fine, don't believe in global warming. But blaming your non-belief in global warming because a lot of people are passionate about it right now...that's just daft. It's like you are saying, "Don't care about global warming so much! It is making other people not believe in global warming!". Uh, ok. Anything that gets people caring about protecting the environment is good. According to you, they are too stupid to understand an intelligent debate on the topic...so why don't we just encourage them to conserve and attempt to reduce their impact on the world? If the cost is annoying big business, top polluters, and some people on web forums, I have no problem paying that price.

Re:Typical misleading summary... (2, Interesting)

Control Group (105494) | about 7 years ago | (#20142701)

If the cost is annoying big business, top polluters, and some people on web forums, I have no problem paying that price


And, if the cost is making brkello start living a pre-industrial lifestyle, I have no problem paying that price.

Which is to say - it's easy for you to be willing to have other people pay the price for change. You are claiming no moral high ground (or even ethically defensible ground) by making such a statement. Your dismissive claims about having no problem making people you've unilaterally deemed to be less than worthwhile bear the burdens is precisely the problem that was earlier being referred to. Oddly, people get defensive when you start talking about how they need to sacrifice. Perhaps if you were less flip about assigning costs, you'd run into fewer people who instinctively dig in their heels and try to fight you on everything you say.

Before you start throwing accusations around, incidentally, I agree that climate change needs to be addressed. The climate is warming up, glacial ice is melting, the repercussions of unchecked climate change are likely to be catastrophic.

Re:Typical misleading summary... (2, Insightful)

icebrain (944107) | about 7 years ago | (#20142873)

I think he might be more upset at the "logic" some people use when discussing climate change. In many cases, it seems to run directly from "temperatures appear to be changing" to "change is bad, and man must be causing it, because we've only recorded the change after industrialization and/or nature never changes." There seems to be the underlying belief that the climate is naturally stable, and that humans are the only things that can cause it to change (never mind ice ages and all that...).

I'm not saying we should just chug along blindly and not do anything. Though I'm still not convinced that man is the primary force behind the current noticed changes (or even that these changes will continue long-term), I still support most environmental efforts--cutting emissions and such certainly can't harm the situation, and definately would help clean out the smong and all that. But I think those who put forth the above reasoning are shooting themselves in the proverbial foot; the more irrational your argument is, the less likely people are to take you seriously. And the attitude of "this is the Truth, and anything you say is Lies" without solid proof just makes it worse. It's no better than the crazy homeless guy on the corner with a sign saying "The end is near!" harassing pedestrians and telling them they're going to hell.

Re:Typical misleading summary... (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | about 7 years ago | (#20142401)

... but he does not believe this is cause for concern because marine bacteria and viruses are typically far less harmful to human health than, for instance, those found on land.

<sarcasm>And of course it's not like humans depend on anything in the sea as a source of food or anything like that....</sarcasm> Only the fact that this has been ongoing for quite some time is in the least bit reassuring.

Re:Typical misleading summary... (3, Insightful)

greg_barton (5551) | about 7 years ago | (#20142433)

Artificial change cannot intrinsically be defined as better or worse than natural change.

So, by the same token, murder is no worse than someone falling off a ladder.

Should we let the murderer go free, then?

Re:Typical misleading summary... (1)

bagboy (630125) | about 7 years ago | (#20142595)

>>So, by the same token, murder is no worse than someone falling off a ladder.

From the dead person's point of view, you are correct. They are still dead - to them it doesn't matter how they died (presumably anyways, haven't really spoken to any spirits about this), their means of demise doesn't change this fact.

Re:Typical misleading summary... (2, Insightful)

jeffasselin (566598) | about 7 years ago | (#20142599)

That's not what he said. He said that you cannot use absolutes to define one type as worse or better than the other.

You can have situations where murder would be acceptable.

Re:Typical misleading summary... (2, Insightful)

greg_barton (5551) | about 7 years ago | (#20142683)

Sure it's exactly what he said. If there was no value difference between intentional and unintentional action we would react no differently to either event. This is plainly not the case.

Re:Typical misleading summary... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#20142561)

OTOH, what if global warming actually thaws these microbes at an abnormal rate? What if the release of abnormally large amounts of microbes leads to the evolution of some killer bacteria that, if not wipes out human populations on the planet, at least kills millions or maybe billions of people? Really, it's important to consider all of the possibilities. After all, isn't that what science is about? Considering all the possibilities and, through process of elimination, to uncover the truth?

Re:Typical misleading summary... (1)

StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) | about 7 years ago | (#20142649)

Where to begin. If what is said is true about global warming in that it is right now out of the range that has supported life on this planet by a large margin (I think we are talking about many million years. And if what is said is also true that human activity (mostly industries and automobiles and farming) are major contributing factors to this unusual, unprecedented global rise in temperatures, then it seems just a little bit crazy to even suggest that "well it might be good, you don't know, it might, we might all like living on one big barren beach, it will spark new industries (that pollute) to make beach umbrella's.". It seems that the major benefitters from all this industrial activity are the owners of those industries and they certainly don't want to pay any more expense that would come out of their profits, so they try to sell this idea of "well it might be better". Try telling that to your kids when you run out of food and tell them that well this extreme diet your going on not might be healthy for you. Its calling blowing smoke up someone's .. well you know. But this is an article about bacteria.

It is good that they are looking at the bacteria because if it is moving out of the glaciers into the water as it has forever then it is good to know what new (old) is coming into the environment, just in case all the whales suddenly start to die, which would cause blooms of krill which would cascade down the food chain, and maybe hasten our demise, or find a new different equilibrium (who's to say we would be part of that equilibrium).

But they haven't seen these very old bacteria in the wild before I am taking it from the article which may mean that actually the waters they flow into may not be a good growth medium for them. Well then our scientists may be bringing back something new (old). That needs to be done with great caution. Who knows some of these might be responsible for mass extinctions in the past, after all there was only one bacteria found at that level. Suspicious.

I take issue with the comments that well its alright because sea bacteria seldom effect humans. A very narrow view. I am recalling the story that was in the Silent Spring I believe of hunters killing wolves which allowed the dear population to explode that damaged the trees the beavers needed, so the beavers died or left and beaver dams were not repaired over years and a heavy rain broke one dam that broke another until an entire town of HUMANS were wiped out. Again someone who has selfish reasons for doing their work and is ignoring possible effects or at the very least blowing smoke up our a..s.

Re:Typical misleading summary... (-1, Redundant)

Wookietim (1092481) | about 7 years ago | (#20142841)

You are arguing science in the "Bush is King and science is bad" United States. Be prepared to be sent to Gauntanamo!

Re:Typical misleading summary... (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | about 7 years ago | (#20142915)

"does not believe this is cause for concern because marine bacteria and viruses are typically far less harmful to human health"

uuuuuh no [wikipedia.org] . He clearly needs a far more up-to-date source of information. Such as the X-files.

Re:Typical misleading summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142951)

We'd be a lot better served by real discussions - which are, unfortunately, far too complex for most people on either side of the "political" global warming debate to understand

What are you doing about it?

Re:Typical misleading summary... (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 7 years ago | (#20143089)

Ever wonder why there are so many global warming deniers? It's because of the attitude taken by fanatic, self-righteous global warming alarmists. We'd be a lot better served by real discussions - which are, unfortunately, far too complex for most people on either side of the "political" global warming debate to understand - than one alarmist global warming story after another.
First of all, I'd say there are two types of global warming deniers. There are the oil industry shills, whose job it is to make sure that the industrialized world continues to use oil as long as possible so that their already extraordinary profits keep rising. Then there are the pseudo-skeptics, who just want to feel special by seeming to take a contrary position.

I don't give a shit about politics, about Al Gore, about Green Peace or a pack of greasy university kids marching to save the planet. What I do care about is that the vast majority of climatologists, while rejecting some of the doomsday notions of the activists, state very clearly that the evidence for climate change being caused by human activities is compelling and growing. To call these scientists "political" is nothing more than an invokation of a conspiracy theory.

Not necessarily 'filled' with these guys soon... (1, Troll)

baldass_newbie (136609) | about 7 years ago | (#20142107)

Not if this global cooling theory comes to pass...oh no, wait, we're pushing global warming now, is it?
Tough to keep straight...

Re:Not necessarily 'filled' with these guys soon.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142375)

*sigh* Not this again. First of all, there never was a global cooling theory. It's all made up that someone proposed that. Go checkout realclimate.org. No reputable scientist ever said "The earth is cooling and we're going to have a catastrophic ice age." Yes, the media reported this and stirred up a bunch of FUD. No, that's not the same as legitimate science.

Second of all, "global warming" is sort of a misleading term, that's why people are going more toward "global climate change" as the proper terminology (or as the Japanese say, "grober crimate change"). If we keep spewing out CO2 (because of e.g. incandescents) and that makes France ice over, that is, oddly enough, technically compatible with global warming.

I hope you get modded down.

Re:Not necessarily 'filled' with these guys soon.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142681)

Tough to keep straight...

Yeah, when your intelligence is as limited as yours evidently is, it must be.

We're not who we are (1)

samu0086 (977811) | about 7 years ago | (#20142123)

X-Files 1x07- Ice

Horror Movie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142125)

Haven't these scientists ever seen The Thing?

The next Hollywood thriller plot (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142129)

Also somehow they are sure that this is safe.
Just before the bacteria Attacked

Tons of ice thaw naturally all the time (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142133)

...which is why this is safe. Same reason particle physics experiments are safe: even higher-energetic particles hit the earth all the time.

Re:Tons of ice thaw naturally all the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142749)

Cosmic rays do not generate anti-matter. Particle physicist had serious meetings before building the LHC to weigh up the issues of anti-matter and a potential global meltdown. These are the top people in their field and they were very concerned. They decided to build their new toy on their considered opinion that although anti-matter is likely to be generated, the probability of a major event was considered "quite unlikely".

Summary dies, needs resusitation. (5, Insightful)

lottameez (816335) | about 7 years ago | (#20142139)

Seriously, that was a terrible summary. The reason the scientists think it's okay and not dangerous is because the process of old ice melting and bacteria being reintroduced happens all the time.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Summary dies, needs resusitation. (2, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | about 7 years ago | (#20142415)

If the polar ice caps were melting daily in the centre of a busy city I would agree with you, but it doesn't.

The big difference is: it happens thousands of miles away from normal people and anything released is just as likely to be reabsorbed by the fresh polar snow/ocean.

I can spray tonnes of a toxin at the northpole and people around the world would be safe, but if I try the same thing in a major city I would be shot.

Re:Summary dies, needs resusitation. (1)

value_added (719364) | about 7 years ago | (#20142773)

I think you mean resuscitate [m-w.com] .

serious article (2, Interesting)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | about 7 years ago | (#20142149)

from a publication that plays host to dancing alien ads. WTF was that journal the fucking Weekly World News?

Let me know if a mirror happens with a respectible pub.

everybody panic (2, Insightful)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | about 7 years ago | (#20142151)

TFA says it is global warming uncovering these bacteria that are 8 million years old...

They don't point out that in the last 8 million years the earth has been much warmer than it is today, at many different times.

At least they didn't break out the OMG its humans driving SUVs stuff. Still though, it seems like an article with an agenda. Just report about the bacteria, kthx.

Re:everybody panic (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 7 years ago | (#20142299)

They don't point out that in the last 8 million years the earth has been much warmer than it is today, at many different times.

Probably because those changes typically occur over tens or hundreds of millenia, not just a couple decades of easy motoring.

Re:everybody panic (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | about 7 years ago | (#20142373)

thanks for proving my point further. the ice in the past had much _longer_ times to melt at higher temperatures, a greater rate of change today would give the ice _less_ time to melt.

this article is complete hogwash.

i remember when crap like this would not have been posted on slashdot. on second thought, no i don't. keep up the good work, i guess.

Re:everybody panic (1)

plague3106 (71849) | about 7 years ago | (#20142383)

I think the sane argument to reduce carbon emissions (not "stop" global warming) is that whenever lots of carbon appears in the atmosphere, the planet heats for a time, melts the ice and we soon enter an ice age.

In the past, high levels of carbon were pumped out by volcanos and wild fires. Now here we are, also putting out lots and lots of carbon thus causing global warming to increase just as happened in the past. Since our world would be much more difficult to live in an ice age, its probably something we don't want to have happen or cause.

Re:everybody panic (1)

E++99 (880734) | about 7 years ago | (#20142803)

TFA says it is global warming uncovering these bacteria that are 8 million years old...

It doesn't actually say that, fortunately, although the way they throw around "global warming" in these articles, it's easy to get that impression. They have to dig for the old samples. For the most part, the only ice that melts naturally (or because of "global warming") is ice that froze during the last ice age, meaning ice that is less than 120,000 years old. The temperatures before the last ice age were significantly warmer than they are now, so a lot more of the truly old ice melted in that interglacial than is going to melt in this one, and would have released bacteria at least as old as will be released now (except for scientists melting the 8-million-year-old stuff). I suppose the Neanderthals were probably complaining pretty bitterly about our species over-using fire for such petty uses as melting jewelery and whatnot, thereby contributing to global warming, when their species was cold-adapted.

There's one thing I DO know... (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 7 years ago | (#20142157)

The Bacteria, named Cirroc, have said that they plan to attend law school and embark on a new career as a personal injury lawyer.

Lawyers? (5, Funny)

iknownuttin (1099999) | about 7 years ago | (#20142271)

The Bacteria, named Cirroc, have said that they plan to attend law school and embark on a new career as a personal injury lawyer.

The article said they were parasitic bacteria?

Re:There's one thing I DO know... (1)

andy314159pi (787550) | about 7 years ago | (#20142631)

I am just a lowly caveman lawyer.

Great (0, Offtopic)

Himring (646324) | about 7 years ago | (#20142163)

Now people are gonna get that blank ink stuff in their eyes and hatch into fanged aliens. But, Skully's hot, so, there's your silver lining....

Shrug. (2, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | about 7 years ago | (#20142165)

If old bacteria can thaw out fine, then I'm sure it happens decently often naturally...Lot of ice melting in the world, and it's not all "new" ice...When ice melts, the water carves channels deep into the ice, and liberates more ice in the process (or refreezes, depending).

Interesting that they're so robust, though I guess if the freezing doesn't kill it, there isn't anything else that will either.

Re:Shrug. (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | about 7 years ago | (#20142215)

*anything else that will while it's frozen in a block of ice. Should have been more specific.

Re:Shrug. (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | about 7 years ago | (#20142467)

I guess if the freezing doesn't kill it, there isn't anything else that will either.

I bet boiling would work...

Re:Shrug. (2, Insightful)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | about 7 years ago | (#20142637)

well the issue is that Ice starting to melt faster and in areas that normally don't melt seasonally. This could all be part of a natural cycle but not a part of a cycle that has happened during the course of human history, so it's hard to tell what kind of immediate impact it will have.

Re:Shrug. (1)

Lurker2288 (995635) | about 7 years ago | (#20142679)

'Toughness' is relative. There are types of bacteria (Dinococcus radiodurans is probably the best known) that survive happily in radioactive waste water, but in any other environment, the same adaptation that makes them capable of surviving irradiation makes them too slow a replicator to really flourish. They're specialists. So a bug that can survive freezing may be well adapted to cold temperatures but not so much warm ones.

Mars! (4, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | about 7 years ago | (#20142173)

If bacteria can survive that long, and I'm sure longer, this means there is a good chance that there may be life on planets with ice in our solar system. All we have to do is go find it!

Let me be the first.... (4, Funny)

martyb (196687) | about 7 years ago | (#20142211)

I know it's been a LONG time, so let me be the first:

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday dear bacteria,
Happy Birthday to You!

(P.S. please don't tell the RIAA I sent this or there might be a fine. ;-)

Re:Let me be the first.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142689)

You should be more worried about the Harry Fox Agency because they deal with licensing and collecting on the mechanical royalties,

hmm. (0)

apodyopsis (1048476) | about 7 years ago | (#20142227)

So Bacteria survives being frozen, but Woolly Mammoths don't.

I guessing we won't either, so I'm filing this under "I" for "irrelevant".

If life survives and there is nobody there to see it, does it matter?

Re:hmm. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 years ago | (#20142483)

If life survives and there is nobody there to see it, does it matter?

Judging from the fate of those perceived dead and buried alive, I'd say no.

Re:hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142587)

If life exists and there is somebody there to see it, does it matter?

Re:hmm. (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | about 7 years ago | (#20142945)

So Bacteria survives being frozen, but Woolly Mammoths don't.
Sometimes, they do [imdb.com] !

I would eat some (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142231)

Just to see what would happen. I could get super powers and take over the world.

Sounds Familiar.... (2, Informative)

Zymergy (803632) | about 7 years ago | (#20142241)

Wasn't this the plot to "The Blob"? .... Wait, No, No, that one's still frozen in the Antarctic as a solution... Right? No, No.. that was "The Thing" that thawed out... Someone should Call Kurt Russell...

Re:Sounds Familiar.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142713)

I think you mean someone should call Steve McQueen. He's the one who starred in The Blob.

Where were we then? (1)

biocute (936687) | about 7 years ago | (#20142247)

the process has been going on for billions of years and the bugs are unlikely to cause human disease.

Yes that's all good, but were there any human few billion years ago?

Re:Where were we then? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 7 years ago | (#20143065)

"were there any human few billion years ago?"
No, and now you know why not - the bacteria killed them...

Paranoid Much? (2, Insightful)

jafiwam (310805) | about 7 years ago | (#20142259)

Also somehow they are sure that this is safe. The interesting bit is that since these samples came from ancient ice, it seems that the world will naturally be filled with these guys soon.
What, you think some this stuff hasn't been periodically thawing out since it got stuck there 8 million years ago?

If you are going to worry about bacteria, worry about the stuff that is now actively learning how to resist all of our antibiotics and hanging out in our hostpitals, not the stuff that hasn't encountered it before. You might as well blame Bush or AlQueda and claim we need to nuke the ice sheets to stop this while you are at it.

Re:Paranoid Much? (1)

Billosaur (927319) | about 7 years ago | (#20142481)

Well perhaps it is paranoia to a degree, but then back when we were landing on the Moon, all sorts of people were concerned that the astronauts would bring back some kind of "Moon germs" that would spread death all over the Earth. Hence the Lunar Receiving Laboratory and Michael Crichton writing a lovely book made into a good movie called "The Andromeda Strain"...

Andromeda Strain Spreading From: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142539)

The White House [whitehouse.org] WITH Congressional approval.

News at 11.

Re:Paranoid Much? (0, Troll)

Cheesbo (1118487) | about 7 years ago | (#20142635)

"Landing on the Moon"..... nice... that was a good one.... keep me laughing for a while!!! Oh yeah.... maybe the "Moon germs" stole all the video documents from NASA....

Obviously... (1)

kdogg73 (771674) | about 7 years ago | (#20142295)

...this was from my freezer. I can't afford the frost-free kind.

Uh oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142439)

By ignoring the undeniable truth that global warming is due to human behavior, we are toying with balances we can't possibly understand, and now may even be releasing ancient microbes into the environment whose dangers we don't yet know!

Even if... (1)

archeopterix (594938) | about 7 years ago | (#20142513)

Even if this hadn't been happening all the time, I doubt that a bacteria so old could seriously threaten us. Things have changed since 8000000 B.C. Its younger siblings have been hammering our ancestors' immunodefense systems, hardening them and getting better themselves. Present creatures vs 8 mo. years bacteria is like Slashdot moderation system versus pre-WWW trolls :-)

Yikes... (1)

Schnoogs (1087081) | about 7 years ago | (#20142519)

Is it just me or does this sound incredibly dangerous? Killer Bees have shown the detrimental impacts of introducing non native species into new environments. This bacteria is not only not native but millions of years old so perhaps its at a completely different evolutionary stage or possesses attributes that will either cause it to flourish in todays environment or die quickly. One can only imagine that someday a virus or a bacteria will be thawed out that could potentially reak havoc in todays world. Talk about messing with a fragile equilibrium. This is both cool and scary.

Nothing bad could possibly come from this. (0, Redundant)

collinc (899981) | about 7 years ago | (#20142533)

I just saw this plot play out on a made for SciFi movie just the other week. As humans, we can rest safely knowing there are several Baldwins out there protecting the human species.

Wouldn't it be great (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142597)

If these microbes turn out to love eating our greenhouse gasses?

No reason to worry, they can't be 8M years old (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20142619)

The oldest they can be is about 6,000 years, right?

Cue sound of Godzilla roaring (1)

infonography (566403) | about 7 years ago | (#20142639)

Something from 8 Million years ago? Has anybody bothered to call in Professor Bernard Quatermass? [wikipedia.org] But since it's 8 Million he's Three million years too late.

You just wait (1)

HangingChad (677530) | about 7 years ago | (#20142709)

Also somehow they are sure that this is safe.

Oh, yeah? Well, what about the giant man-like alien, frozen in the ice for thousands of years after its space ship crash landed on our planet? Wait until it thaws out and starts looking for blood to water its little alien plant space babies. Then you won't feel so safe. Will you, Mr. Smarty Pants Scientist?

Wrong Focus (5, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 7 years ago | (#20142725)

I think posters are getting too hung up on the "prehistoric killer bacteria" story and not the fact that something frozen for 8 million years can be thawed and live again (not sure how new this news is). So, we could potentially have a solar system filled with seeder asteroids (meteoroids?) from massive impacts with Earth or an older life-bearing Mars.

War of the Worlds (3, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | about 7 years ago | (#20142759)

Before the early 21st Century, Earth experienced a scourge of humans. Common bacteria from ancient ice stopped the humans, but it didn't destroy them. Instead they lapsed into a state of deep hibernation. Now, the humans are resurrected, more destructive than ever before. Before the early 21st Century humans had taken over the world. Now, they're taking over our colonists' bodies!

Are you classified as human? (1)

saintory (944644) | about 7 years ago | (#20142929)

Uhhh, negative, I am a "gene popsicle."

Can you say CPT Trips (1, Funny)

pete.com (741064) | about 7 years ago | (#20143001)

I'm moving to Boulder today... I know the outcome of this story.

Imagine beowulf of those! (1)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | about 7 years ago | (#20143037)

(just an obligatory remark)

Thingking of you ... (2, Funny)

DrogMan (708650) | about 7 years ago | (#20143085)

One name: John Carpenter
One thing: Er, The Thing

We're doomed...

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