By Joanna Marchant A 300-YEAR-OLD mystery of a creature that could apparently die and come back to life has been solved by Californian researchers. Brine shrimp embryos called Artemia form cysts which play dead for years before bursting into adult life. Until now, it has been impossible to find any sign of activity in the cysts, so ever since Voltaire’s time scientists have speculated that the embryos must stop their metabolism completely. But this would defy one of the accepted definitions of life—that living organisms require a continuous expenditure of free energy. “This is a central axiom of biology,
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