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A female microscopic roundworm that spent the last 46,000 years in suspended animation deep in the Siberian permafrost was revived and started having babies in a laboratory dish.

“The age over which it survived is one of the shocking things,” said Gregory Copenhaver, a co-editor of PLOS Genetics, biology professor and director of the Institute for Convergent Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The past 46,000 years reach into the previous geologic epoch, called the Pleistocene, he noted, and “this single organism, the actual individual they found, has been alive over that period of time.”

The Washington Post