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GET OUTTA TOWN 32,000-Year-Old Dead Plant Revived PNAS

32,000-Year-Old Dead Plant Revived

The narrow-leafed campion sure looks good for being dead for 32,000 years. The Arctic flower—stored by a squirrel in a burrow in Siberia, and permanently frozen until uncovered a few years ago—was used by Russian scientists to grow a plant. The researchers took cells from the plant’s placenta (the organ inside the fruit that produces seeds) and grew them in culture dishes. If the study’s radiocarbon dating is to be trusted (it will most definitely be quadruple-checked by an independent group), this will be the oldest plant ever to be grown from ancient tissue. What will scientists do next? Study evolution in real time using the old and new campion plants.

February 20, 2012 8:12 PM