Register to reply

Flowering Plant Revived After 30,000 Years in Permafrost

Share this thread:
Feb21-12, 01:49 PM
Evo's Avatar
P: 26,655
This is amazing. I want one. I'm interested in exactly what they did.

It was cultivated in the lab, with help from some "clonal micropropagation," from seeds and leaves probably collected by some long-ago species of squirrel. The researchers, publishing their find today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, say the squirrel's burrow was probably frozen over quickly, and stayed that way until they discovered it.

"The squirrels dug the frozen ground to build their burrows, which are about the size of a soccer ball, putting in hay first and then animal fur for a perfect storage chamber," said Stanislav Gubin, one of the authors of the study, who spent years rummaging through the area for squirrel burrows. "It's a natural cryobank."
Phys.Org News Partner Biology news on
Scientists discover RNA modifications in some unexpected places
Scientists discover tropical tree microbiome in Panama
Collaboration drives achievement in protein structure research
Greg Bernhardt
Feb21-12, 03:40 PM
Greg Bernhardt's Avatar
P: 9,684
Very cool! I hope we hear more about this kinds of developments in the future!
Feb21-12, 04:58 PM
P: 12
Yeah, I was just listenting to a story about this on NPR on my way home today...very cool!

Feb22-12, 03:20 PM
Ryan_m_b's Avatar
P: 5,488
Flowering Plant Revived After 30,000 Years in Permafrost

I seem to remember a lecture once telling me (way back in first year of my undergrad) that once a seed millions of years old was recovered and fertilised with a modern plant. It went to show that the tree had undergone remarkably little change in a very long time.
Feb22-12, 05:33 PM
Biosyn's Avatar
P: 112

I wonder if they will clone it.
Feb22-12, 06:15 PM
P: 12

I don't know exactly what they did, but on the NPR thing I heard they said the first thing they tried was just to plant the seeds in soil. That didn't work, so they extracted some of the seed innards - the embryo I guess - and put it in a growth medium - hydroponic I think. Apparently others have tried to fake this kind of thing, but this group apparently has a very convincing case, with documentation of getting the seeds out of the permafrost and into the lab freezer quickly, getting an independent and reputable group to do Carbon-dating, etc.
Feb29-12, 03:02 PM
P: 24
How they did it is something that you can only do with plants. Since all plant cells are totipotent (think stem cells) you can take any one cell from it and develop it into new functioning plant tissue from that one cell. It pretty amazing that they found one with cells intact enough to replicate though.
Mar11-12, 01:11 AM
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
P: 1,326
Thanks Evo !! Very fascinating science..
The clip on yahoo is now expired, but here is the story on npr site and here is the abstract from proc. nat'l acad of science.
Mar11-12, 01:17 AM
DaveC426913's Avatar
P: 15,319
I hear that, somewhere in the Caribbean there's an island, upon which giant paddocks are being built to contain these prehistoric flowering plants so that people can come for afar to observe them in their natural habitat.

Jeff Goldbloom has been contacted for consultation. (See what I did there?)
Mar11-12, 10:59 AM
Evo's Avatar
P: 26,655
Quote Quote by Ouabache View Post
Thanks Evo !! Very fascinating science..
The clip on yahoo is now expired, but here is the story on npr site and here is the abstract from proc. nat'l acad of science.
Thanks Ouabache!

Register to reply

Related Discussions
BeOS revived after a decade Computers 1
Will the plant's respiration rate increasing while the plant is taking photosynthesis Biology 1