600,000 Year Old Bacteria Extracted From Ice Core

Carol Channing has competition:

The oldest living thing has been discovered in the form of 600,000-year-old bacteria extracted from ice cores, scientists claim. The trick, the discovery suggests, is for organisms to keep some metabolism going over the millennia, so that they can keep their DNA in repair while awaiting a more favorable environment in which to multiply.

Another group found 800,000 year old DNA.

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