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Swift
2012-Feb-21, 08:21 PM
From the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/science/new-life-from-an-arctic-flower-that-died-32000-years-ago.html)

Living plants have been generated from the fruit of a little arctic flower, the narrow-leafed campion, that died 32,000 years ago, a team of Russian scientists reports. The fruit was stored by an arctic ground squirrel in its burrow on the tundra of northeastern Siberia and lay permanently frozen until excavated by scientists a few years ago.

This would be the oldest plant by far that has ever been grown from ancient tissue. The present record is held by a date palm grown from a seed some 2,000 years old that was recovered from the ancient fortress of Masada in Israel.

...

The new report is by a team led by Svetlana Yashina and David Gilichinsky of the Russian Academy of Sciences research center at Pushchino, near Moscow, and appears in Tuesday’s issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

The article also has a photo of the plant (reminds me a little of a local plant called a Spring Beauty).

I also heard reports on the radio about this and some people seemed highly skeptical. I personally don't find it implausible that plant matter could last this long in permafrost.

Gillianren
2012-Feb-21, 09:34 PM
I have a friend who demands to know how they didn't know it would release human-killing pollen. I think he's seen one too many M. Knight Shyamalan movies. But then, haven't we all?

Swift
2012-Feb-21, 10:03 PM
I have a friend who demands to know how they didn't know it would release human-killing pollen.
Well, given my allergies and sinuses, human-killing pollen isn't much of a stretch. ;)


I think he's seen one too many M. Knight Shyamalan movies. But then, haven't we all?
Given that I've seen a total of zero of his movies, can I say that I've seen one too many? :think: I think the answer is "yes". :D

Squink
2012-Feb-21, 10:04 PM
The article sort of hides it, but these plants were not grown from 32,000 year old seeds. They are clones of the original plant, derived from placental cells found within the fruiting body, not from the seeds themselves.
That renders the 'seed viability' arguments found within the Times article somewhat pointless other than as background material.
I hope the researchers preserved enough of the original fruit to permit independent dating.

publiusr
2012-Feb-24, 10:27 PM
They certainly have a better green thumb than I do.