age of oldest living micro-organism

Jordan Gottlieb jsgottlie at
Mon Dec 9 22:58:26 EST 1996

On Mon, 09 Dec 1996 04:11:03 -0600, JJF at wrote:

>Is there anyone, who knows, how long resting micro-organism (also spores) 
>can survive in deep surfaces layers? Is it possible to isolate "old" 
>bacteria species from drilling core samples dating back thousands or even 
>millions of years? And last not least is it possible to revive them on 
>agar plates?
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I belive the oldest living organism is considered to be E. cloaca,
carbon dated at over 12,000 years.  It was isolated from a mastadont
dug up in Burning Tree Golf Course in Ohio (I forget the town).  I
began my undergraduate at Ohio Wesleyan University shortly after it
was discovered.

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