Chemist Anatoli Brouchkov in Russia has taken a page right out of science fiction and injected himself with 3.5 million-year-old bacteria. The reason? He believes the procedure holds the key to superhuman abilities, including immortality.
He’s not alone in his beliefs; many other scientists also believe the bacteria, which began life in the Siberian permafrost a million years before humans showed up on Earth, has the ability to regenerate cells and correct a laundry list of human ailments.
Dr. Viktor Chernyavsky, a Siberian epidemiologist, even went as far as to call the discovery an “elixir of life” and a “scientific sensation.”
Dr. Brouchkov says that since injecting himself, he hasn’t had a flu and has been able to work longer and harder without fatigue.
“After successful experiments on mice and fruit flies, I thought it would be interesting to try the inactivated bacteria culture,” he says. “If we can find out how the bacteria stays alive, we probably would be able to find a tool to extend our own lives.”
Those “successful experiments on mice and fruit flies” Dr. Brouchkov speaks of found that the bacteria boosts fertility in animals. Another test on plants showed that the bacteria provided healing properties.
How does it work?
Scientists aren’t exactly sure. What they do know is that there are “mystery” substances in the bacteria that not only keep it alive for a staggering amount of time but also boost the immune function of other organisms.
“I would say, there exist immortal bacteria, immortal beings,” Dr. Brouchkov says. “They cannot die — to be more precise, they can protect themselves. Our cells are unable to protect themselves from damage. It is the main riddle of mankind and I believe we must work to solve it. Now we have a key, ancient bacteria, which scientists have found in an extreme and ancient environment.”
Want to lay hands on the bacteria yourself? Easy – move to Siberia.
Dr. Brouchkov says trace amounts of the bacteria, known as Bacillus F, can be found in Siberia’s tap water.
“These bacteria get into the environment, into the water, so the local population, the Yakut people, in fact, for a long time are getting these cells with water, and even seem to live longer than some other nations,” Dr. Brouchkov says.
What do you think? Is this bacteria something humans should be studying or does it sound like a recipe for the zombie apocalypse?
University of Strathclyde Glasgow