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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blooming After 30 Thousand Frozen Years

From soccer-ball-sized hole, 38 meters below the ice surface permafrost in Siberia, Russian scientists managed to find and cultivate the seeds of plants that have been frozen for 30 thousand years. Plants with white flowers like jasmine is thought to originate from the Pleistocene era, before the farm system, even before the last Ice Age.
Regenerated Pleistocene Age plant.  David Gilichinsky/Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil, Russian Academy of Sciences. (Picture from: http://abcnews.go.com/)
Frozen seeds were found among the mounds of grain collected ancient squirrel. "Squirrels were digging frozen ground to build their burrows for a soccer ball, then fill it with straw and feathers to create the perfect storage chamber," said Stanislav Gubin, a Russian researcher who for years exploring the region to look for squirrel burrows. "It was a natural frozen bank."

Of clumps of frozen seeds in the nest that's ancient Gubin and his team managed to revive the plant called Silene stenophylla. The experiment was conducted for the first time and could pave the way to revive the other ancient species.

The researchers said the plant Silene stenophylla oldest ever revived. Plants that revived it was able to thrive and produce white flowers and seeds can be planted. Research shows that the ice layer serves as a natural repository for ancient life forms.

"Research is important in the ice sheet continues to find ancient genetic pool is buried in it. Swimming genetic save the life forms that once existed, and in theory has long since vanished from the earth's surface," said one researcher.

Previously, researchers from Canada ever revive plants from seeds that were buried for years. But not as old as the age of the plant Silene stenophylla.

Svetlana Yashina of the Institute of Biophysics Cells, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia, said the ancient plants that are very similar to modern version that is still growing in the same area, which is in northeastern Siberia. "This is an easy plant to grow," said lead study. *** [AP | MAHARDIKA SATRIA HADI | KORAN TEMPO 3802] 
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