Scientists Hatch 700 Year Old Eggs


As the discovery of extrasolar planets has accelerated in recent years there has been a great deal of discussion about which planets might and might not support life. At the same time life has been showing us just how resilient it can be. Tardigrades (water bears) have shown that they can live in extremely high or low temperatures, can survive intense radiation and live in the vacuum of space. Now, researchers have hatched water flea eggs in a Minnesota lake, eggs that had laid dormant for 700 years.

The purpose of the research, according to the New York Times, was to examine the process of evolution. Scientists compared the 700 year old fleas to modern ones and examined their behavior and strategies for survival. All of that is fascinating, but what is of particular interest to me is that 700 year old eggs are able to hatch at all. Life, once again, has shown an amazing ability to go on living even under extreme circumstances and where there is life, the process of evolution is taking place.

It is almost certainly not true that there is intelligent life on every planet that supports life, but on planets where life has taken hold the process of evolution is taking place and whatever life is there is becoming more advanced and complex.

Via: New York Times
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