Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Russians revive Ice Age flower

A Sylene stenophylla plant regenerated by Russian scientists from tissue of fossil fruit (AP)

Russian scientists say they have resurrected an entire plant , an Ice Age flower, in a pioneering experiment that paves the way for the revival of other species.

They say the Silene stenophylla is the oldest plant ever to be regenerated and is fertile, producing white flowers and viable seeds.

The raw material for the project was fruit tissues from an Ice Age squirrel's chamber, a burrow containing fruit and seeds that had been stuck in the Siberian permafrost for over 30,000 years.

The Russians said the experiment proves that permafrost serves as a natural depository for ancient life forms. They published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States.

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