This undated photo provided by the Institute of Cell Biophysics of the Russian Academy of Sciences show a Sylene stenophylla plant regenerated from tissue of fossil fruit. The plant has been regenerated from tissues found in a squirrel burrow that had been stuck in Siberian permafrost for over 30,000 years. It is the oldest plant ever to be regenerated and it is fertile, producing white flowers and viable seeds. (AP Photo/HO, the Institute of Cell Biophysics of the Russian Academy of Sciences) Mandatory Credit (AP2012)
MOSCOW â€“ It was an Ice Age squirrel’s treasure chamber, a burrow containing fruit and seeds that had been stuck in the Siberian permafrost for over 30,000 years. From the fruit tissues, a team of Russian scientists managed to resurrect an entire plant in a pioneering experiment that paves the way for the revival of other species.
The Silene stenophylla is the oldest plant ever to be regenerated, the researchers said, and it is fertile, producing white flowers and viable seeds.
The experiment proves that permafrost serves as a natural depository for ancient life forms, said the Russian researchers, who published their findings in Tuesday’s issue of “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” of the United States.
“We consider it essential to continue permafrost studies in search of an ancient genetic pool, that of pre-existing life, which hypothetically has long since vanished from the earth’s surface,” the scientists said in the article.
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"Russians Resurrect 30,000-Year-Old Frozen Flower"