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Russian Scientists Revive 32,000 Year Old Arctic Plant
Posted By Molly Cotter On February 21, 2012 @ 1:35 pm In Botanical,News | No Comments
We had to do a double-take this morning when we heard that a lab team from the Russian Academy of Sciences research center  in Pushchino successfully revived a 32,000 year old arctic plant. The scientists generated beautiful new plants from the narrow-leafed campion , an ancient arctic fruit buried hundreds of feet below the Siberian tundra  for over tens of thousands of years. This amazing discovery could open the door for thousands of other ancient and even extinct flowers to bloom once again.
Long ago, an arctic ground squirrel stored the narrow-leafed campion seeds deep in a burrow where they were permanently frozen at minus 7 degrees and covered with 125 feet of earth. Scientists excavated the burrow and found nearly 600,000 seeds and fruits among the campions frozen below. When taken back to the lab, the campion seeds themselves could not regenerate because of their combined age and temperature so the team of scientists extracted cells from the placenta  inside the fruit, thawed them out and cultured them in a petri dish  that quickly became a sprouting flower. The ancient version of the blossomed flower is only slightly different from today’s, producing a more narrow petal but broader bloom. While this is not the first ancient regeneration story of its kind, it is certainly the oldest, prompting scientists all over the world to test and retest the carbon dating  of this incredible fruit.
After generating 36 plants using this procedure, the scientific community is anxious to see what else is in store for these ancient fruits. Maybe woolly mammoths  aren’t too far behind?
Via The New York Times 
Images via Wikipedia 
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/russian-scientists-revive-32000-year-old-arctic-plant/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/russian-scientists-revive-32000-year-old-arctic-plant/ancient-plant-regenerated-1/
 narrow-leafed campion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campion
 Siberian tundra: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberia
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/russian-scientists-revive-32000-year-old-arctic-plant/ancient-plant-regenerated-2/
 placenta: http://www.ibiblio.org/botnet/glossary/a_xi.html
 petri dish: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petri_dish
 carbon dating: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiocarbon_dating
 woolly mammoths: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolly_mammoth
 The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/science/new-life-from-an-arctic-flower-that-died-32000-years-ago.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss
 Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silene_stenophylla
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