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Cold, Very Old Microorganisms Discovered by Penn State Team

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

They like the cold, they don't need much oxygen, and you can fit 62 trillion of them into a teaspoon. They're also 120,000 years old.

Those are the salient characteristics of a new species of ultrasmall bacteria discovered deep inside a glacier by researchers at Penn State University.

The Chryseobacterium greenlandensis were isolated from an ice core from 1.8 miles beneath the surface of a glacier in Greenland. Jennifer Loveland-Curtze, the lead researcher on the Penn State team, said the new species adds one more sliver of enlightenment to the vast and mostly unexplored universe of microorganisms.

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