They regenerated a plant from the ice age

They regenerated a plant from the ice age

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Silene stenophylla is also fertile and produces white flowers.

The experiment paves the way for the rebirth of other species.

They succeed in bringing a 32,000-year-old plant, Silene stenophylla, back to life. (AFP)

A team of Russian scientists managed to regenerate a plant from the ice age.

It did so from the tissues of fruits that, along with seeds, remained lodged for more than 30,000 years in the Siberian permafrost (an area of ​​permanent ice sheet), in an experiment that paves the way for the rebirth of other species.

The Silene stenophylla it is the oldest plant that has been regenerated; Furthermore, it is fertile and produces white flowers and viable seeds.

The regenerated plant is very similar to its modern version, which is still abundant in the same area in northeast Siberia. Canadian researchers had previously regenerated younger plants from seeds found in similar locations.

In the article published in the American journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences", the scientists who carried out the experiment argued that the same evidence as permafrost, the permanently frozen layer at the surface levels of the soil in very cold, serves as a natural repository of ancestral life forms.

"We consider it essential to continue studies of permafrost in search of genes from ancestral populations, previous lives, which hypothetically have disappeared from Earth," the scientists said.

The Russian team recovered the fruits after examining dozens of fossilized burrows hidden under ice deposits on the bank of the Kolyma River in Siberia, among sediments between 30,000 and 32,000 years old.

The sediments were firmly grounded and often completely covered in ice, making water seepage impossible, creating a natural freezing chamber completely isolated from the surface.

"The squirrels dug the frozen ground to build their burrows, which are the size of a soccer ball, placing straw first and then animal fur to create a perfect storage chamber, a natural cryobank," said Stanislav Gubin, one of the authors. of the study.

Speaking to the AP agency from the Russian city of Pshchino, where it has its laboratory, Svetlana Yashina, from the Institute of Cell Biophysics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, was confident that the team can continue its studies and regenerate more species of plants. source

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