Jurassic Park in a Petri dish: Scientists bring 500 million-year-old bacteria back to life – what could possibly go wrong?

A 500 million-year-old bacteria has been brought back to life in a laboratory at Georgia Tech in an experiment with echoes of Jurassic Park’s disastrous recreation of the dinosaurs.

The new ‘chimeric’ bacteria has mutated rapidly – and some have become stronger and healthier than today’s germs

The researchers have resurrected a 500-million-year-old gene and inserted it into a modern E Coli bacteria.

The ‘Frankenstein’ germ has thrived. In the lab, the creation has now lived through 1,000 generations.

The scientists hope to find out whether the ‘ancient’ bacteria will evolve the same way it did ‘first time round’ – or whether it will evolve into a different, new organism.

‘This is as close as we can get to rewinding and replaying the molecular tape of life,’ said scientist Betül Kaçar, a NASA astrobiology postdoctoral fellow in Georgia Tech.

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