In 2014, a grandiose project was launched to determine the age limit of long-lived bacteria. It will take half a millennium.
The experimental method is the most important engine of progress and the main tool for the development of science. But it is extremely difficult to conduct some studies because they require an enormous amount of time. The time limit for an experiment has always been limited to the life of the experimenter. At least, it was until recently.
In 2014, a study was launched to find out the lifespan of the long-lived Bacillus subtilis bacteria. The sample was divided into several parts, each of which was placed in a glass container. The containers will be opened in turn every 2 years for 24 years. If by that time the spores are still in order, the containers will be checked less frequently: once every 25 years until the end of the study in 2514.
Of course, no person can live so long. Therefore, all the data received is recorded in order to transfer them to later generations of researchers. The project involves researchers from Germany, Scotland, and the United States. The recent opening of the containers showed that the bacteria population is doing well and the experiment is ready to continue.
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