The 500-Year-Long Science Experiment
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In 2014, scientists started a 500-year experiment to determine the longevity of bacteria.
The experiment consists of 800 glass vials containing either Chroococcidiopsis or Bacillus subtilis that has been hermetically sealed with a flame.
For the 500-year experiment to succeed, scientists are supposed to test the dried bacteria for viability and DNA damage every other year for the first 24 years and then every quarter-century for the next 475.
The team left a USB stick with instructions as well as a hard copy on paper. As neither is foolproof, the team asks that researchers will at each 25-year point copy the instructions, so they remain linguistically and technologically up to date.
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