Eternal Life Bacteria ?!?

Eternal Life Bacteria ?!?

The weirdest headline popped up in my feeds today: Russian scientist says he is stronger and healthier after injecting himself with 'eternal life' bacteria. That got my attention.

Anatoli Brouchkov, head of the Geocryology Department at Moscow State University, found a bacteria in the permafrost that is 3.5 million years old. They call it Bacillus F. How it is dated to that age is not mentioned in the paper. They suggest that the bacteria themselves are 3.5 million years old, but it appears they are extremophiles that live in permafrost that dates to 3.5 million years. As always in the paper, important details are lacking.

They decided, for reasons that are also not clear, that these bacteria hold the secret to longer life, so they started testing it on plants, flies and mice. After exposure to the bacteria, plants grew better, older mice started reproducing, and animals became resistant to infection. Again, no details.

One little known fact is that if you challenge an animal or cell with a non-specific antigen from an organism or the whole organism, then that  cell or animal is more resistant to subsequent challenge by a pathogen. It primes the immunologic pump as it were. The problem with being in an inflamed state is that is has its own downsides such as being prothrombotic and atherogenic, so as a long term defense having the immune system boosted is counterproductive.

But it does not surprise me that an animal exposed to a non-pathogenic organism would be more resistant to a subsequent infectious challenge. But with no details of the experiments we do not know what really occured.

But, Brouchkov decided, it it helps the mice, it might help me, so injected himself with "inactivated bacterial culture." At least he had the sense to use dead bacteria, although anything that can survive in permafrost is unlikely grow in humans at 98.4. Bacterial growth is very temperature sensitive.

It also does not mention if this was an iv or im injection.

And? He has more energy and he had not had the flu for two years. Given that in a standard season 5-20% of the US population get the flu every year, going two years without flu is not that impressive. But then for 58 years  I have never had the flu. Not once. But then I get vaccinated every year.

They also note that the bacteria is found in the local water where the locals evidently have a shorter than average life expectancy.

So what does this have to do with longevity? Reading all the reports suggest nothing really. Mostly they imply that these are very old bacteria, but provide no proof that they are actually the elixir of life.

'Now we have a key, ancient bacteria, which scientists have found in an extreme and ancient environment.' He admitted that some people need convincing of the significance of the discoveries. 'Of course the discussions are ongoing. There are a lot of sceptics who do not believe that bacteria are really old.

Given the complete lack of published papers on the topic, count me among the skeptics. 

But coming soon to a supplement store near you.  I bet Natural News first.

NCCIH sanitizes naturopathy
Points of Interest 09/30/2015