Maybe I’m taking the message of this story too far with that title, but it can’t be by more than a couple steps. Researchers recently discovered that they can freeze the larva of the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, keep them on ice for a while, and then bring them back from the graaaaaave! THEN, because they’re really sick, they mate them with poor unsuspecting regular flies, who are probably their great-grandchildren or something. But here’s the kicker: the progeny that issue from this unholy union are perfectly normal fruit flies. And maybe that’s true, but I doubt they told them how they came into the world. See if they’re perfectly normal then!
Melodrama aside, the way the accomplished this is by feeding them a diet rich in glycerol, a garden-variety cryoprotectant, and L-proline, an amino acid found in Chymomyza costata, a relative of D. melanogaster that lives in the Arctic and can apparently survive being dunked in liquid nitrogen. Crazy.
So they gain the strength of their distant cousins by consuming their essence, huh? I guess all those early American cannibals were right after all.
Now, the practical value of all this is that our friendly fruit fly researchers can save money by not needing to maintain large populations of fruit flies when they don’t need them just so they have them when they do. Just pop them in the freezer and thaw when needed. Pretty cool, but this is all I can think of:
via PopSci – Frozen Fruit Flies Come Back to Life
Images from Wikipedia and a couple random blogs.