Russian scientist claims injections of 3.5 million-year-old bacteria lead to longer life

When it comes to solving the seemingly impossible question of eternal youth, a scientist in Russia believes there might actually just be something in the water — well, Siberian permafrost to be specific. Call him crazy, but according to Dr. Anatoli Brouchkov, a 3.5 million-year-old bacteria living in Siberia presents the closest thing to a fountain of youth the world has ever seen. What’s even crazier is Brouchkov willingly volunteered himself as a human guinea pig, injecting himself with the ancient bacteria over two years ago. This can’t end badly, right?

While working around Mammoth Mountain in the Yakutia region of Siberia in 2009, Dr. Brouchkov (head of the Geocryology Department at Moscow State University) stumbled upon the bacteria embedded deeply within patches of permafrost. Called Bacillus F, Brouchkov and his team examined the found bacteria and have since uncovered its DNA, allowing them to more closely analyze what kept it alive for so long. This analysis, they hope, will help uncover exactly what mechanisms present in the bacteria helped preserve its genome for not only 3.5 million years, but in a perpetually deep frozen state.

Brouchkov at Mammoth Mountain
Brouchkov at Mammoth Mountain Siberian Times

Aside from testing it on himself, Brouchkov also injected the bacteria into living mice, fruit flies, and crops — with each showing significant positive impacts after injection. Concerning the mice, older females introduced to Bacillus F were able to begin reproducing offspring even though their bodies had stopped being able to previously.

“We did a lot of experiments on mice and fruit flies and we saw the sustainable impact of our bacteria on their longevity and fertility,” Brouchkov tells the Siberian Times. “But we do not know yet exactly how it works. In fact, we do not know exactly how aspirin works, for example, but it does.”

It was because of the successful experiments on mice that Brouchkov decided to inject himself with Bacillus F, effectively putting his “youth elixir” through the ultimate test. In the two years since his injection, the Dr. has reported having the ability to work longer without getting tired and he’s also been able to avoid contracting the flu. The question of whether or not Bacillus F is truly the one responsible for his clean bill of health is still a topic of incredible speculation. To Brouchkov however, he believes the bacteria represents no immediate harm to himself but acknowledges he has no idea what it’s actually doing to him.

Bacillus F
Bacillus F Siberian Times

“The permafrost is thawing, and I guess 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,” Brouchkov adds. “So there was no danger for me.”

Despite this somewhat misguided statement, Brouchkov believes properly administered doses of Bacillus F may allow people to live longer, healthier lives. In light of such a discovery, Anatoli and his colleagues applied for a research grant to continue analyzing and testing the bacteria and its composition. With fellow doctors and scientists calling the finding a “scientific sensation” and a potential “elixir of life,” it appears likely Anatoli won’t be hard pressed to find widespread help with the continued research.


Fisker failed. But now the EV pioneer is ready for an epic redo

Henrik Fisker has already had a career most executives can only dream about. He designed the BMZ Z8, a couple of Aston Martins, and his own Fisker Karma. But he’s got a plan to disrupt the auto industry, forged by lessons learned over the…
Social Media

Why an American named John Lewis gets lots of Twitter hassle from Brits

Spare a thought for Twitter user John Lewis. When he signed up as @johnlewis soon after the app launched in 2006, little did he know what he was letting himself in for. Clue: There's a U.K. department store called John Lewis.
Digital Trends Live

Nerf product designer has his sights set on upcoming ‘Overwatch’ collaboration

Nerf has a new line of Overwatch tie-in guns coming out in 2019, and Product Design Manager Jae Yoo appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about the collaboration, and how he comes up with designs.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Emerging Tech

Ancient crater the size of NYC discovered under the Greenland ice sheet

A huge crater has been discovered beneath the ice of Greenland, and is thought to be the result of a meteorite impact millions of years ago. The crater is one of the largest ever discovered, measuring 19 miles across.
Emerging Tech

Here’s how the InSight mission to Mars will confirm its landing to NASA

NASA's InSight mission has sent a lander to Mars. NASA researchers have now shared details on how they will monitor the touching down of the lander at the end of its 91 million mile journey.
Emerging Tech

Would you swap your keycard for a microchip implant? For many, the answer is yes

Put down your keycard! More people are turning to implanted RFID chips as their choice of workplace identification. Should we be worried about a world in which employees get microchipped?

‘Super magnesium’ may be the next wonder material for outdoor gear

Super Magnesium is a wonder material that is 30 percent lighter than aluminum, as strong as carbon fiber, cheaper to make, and 100-percent recyclable, making it much better for the environment.
Emerging Tech

Forget joysticks — the Guts Game is controlled by a sensor that you swallow

Researchers have created an unusual new game in which players swallow a biosensor and then compete to raise or lower the temperature in their gut. Sound crazy? Here's why it could catch on.
Emerging Tech

Step inside the Nepalese restaurant staffed by robot waiters

A robotics startup from Nepal has created a robot waiter called Ginger. It's capable of delivering food from kitchen to table, and can even engage customers in a bit of friendly banter as it does so.
Emerging Tech

Doctors could soon ditch stitches and seal skin wounds with lasers

Just like the dermal regenerator in Star Trek, physicians may soon be able to heal skin wounds using smart, laser-based technology. That's thanks to researchers from Arizona State University.
Emerging Tech

From tornado flushes to remote controls, modern toilets are flush with tech

With the global observance of World Toilet Day on November 19, we take a look at how the modern toilet in our homes and businesses have evolved, and how they are becoming smarter tools in the future.
Emerging Tech

NASA selects the all-important landing site for its Mars 2020 rover mission

NASA said on Monday that the landing site for its much-anticipated Mars 2020 rover mission has the potential to "revolutionize how we think about Mars and its ability to harbor life."
Emerging Tech

NASA’s ‘space wheat’ is helping earthbound farmers grow crops quicker

Could NASA technology for growing plants on other planets help farmers improve crop yield here on Earth? According to researchers in Australia and the U.K., the answer is a resounding yes.