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Biotech Science

Russian Scientists Revive Plant From 30,000-Year-Old Seeds 162

An anonymous reader writes "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 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.'"
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Russian Scientists Revive Plant From 30,000-Year-Old Seeds

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  • I saw this movie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by (245670) on Monday February 20, 2012 @06:34PM (#39105027)

    Well the question is, how can you know anything about an extinct ecosystem? And therefore, how could you ever assume that you can control it? I mean, you have plants in this building that are poisonous. You picked them because they look good. But these are aggressive living things that have no idea what century they're in, and they'll defend themselves, violently if necessary.

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <> on Monday February 20, 2012 @06:46PM (#39105117) Homepage

    At least they'll help us fight the zombies.

  • by yodleboy (982200) on Monday February 20, 2012 @06:48PM (#39105143)
    do we have to know the benefit up front? So maybe we recover some extinct species that got wiped out by your invasive ones. Or maybe we find a bunch of seeds, grow the plant and find out it's the perfect plant for producing biofuels. Or maybe we restore some lost Amazonian species that just happens to lead to a cure for cancer. Who knows, isn't it worth trying?
  • by MoldySpore (1280634) on Monday February 20, 2012 @07:33PM (#39105511)
    ...I really have to question the idea of bringing back life that ceased to exist thousands, and eventually possibly millions, of years ago. Jurassic Park jokes aside, I hope they will take adequate precautions to not bring back something that could wind up being disastrous on the CURRENT iteration of Earth. I'm all for stuff like this, I just hope they err on the side of caution before bringing back random plants and introducing them into a modern ecosystem that has evolved well beyond when some of those plants will have existed.
  • by Microlith (54737) on Monday February 20, 2012 @07:40PM (#39105573)

    I stated an observation and solicited feedback.

    No you didn't, you stated:

    They died for a reason- get over it, move on, do something productive for TODAY.

    So rather than being curious as to what the purpose of this was (since your question was rhetorical, as you obviously don't care about the responses) you insisted that they stop doing this and do something else. What that might be I can't fathom.

    Your post indicates little to no actual curiosity and rather indignation that they are doing something you perceive to not be valuable. So yeah, you're gonna get flamed.

  • by SpazmodeusG (1334705) on Monday February 20, 2012 @08:07PM (#39105759)

    That shouldn't be modded funny. I remember the Wollembi Pine retailing for $100 a sapling here in Australia a few years ago. Each sapling was numbered. There was a lot of novelty in having the Nth Wollembi Pine in the world.

    There's a hell of a lot of money to be made here.

  • by Flyerman (1728812) on Monday February 20, 2012 @08:41PM (#39105977) Journal

    Holy crap. That sounds like the beginning of a novel.

In the future, you're going to get computers as prizes in breakfast cereals. You'll throw them out because your house will be littered with them.