Friday, August 26, 2016


Russian Scientists Grow Ice-Age Flower

A silene stenophylla grown from tissue of fossil fruit found in a squirrel burrow that had been stuck in Siberian permafrost for over 30,000 years.
A silene stenophylla grown from tissue of fossil fruit found in a squirrel burrow that had been stuck in Siberian permafrost for over 30,000 years.
By Claire Bigg
It looks like an ordinary wildflower, with white petals sitting atop a slender stem.

The silene stenophylla, however, is by far the most ancient living plant on Earth. A team of Russian scientists were able to resurrect entire specimens from seeds buried by squirrels in permafrost more than 30,000 years ago.

The plants are even fertile, producing flowers and viable seeds.

This achievement is a major breakthrough that could pave the way for the revival of other ancient plant species.

"It shows that permafrost acts as a natural cryochamber," Svetlana Yashina, one of the researchers who led the experiment, told RFE/RL.

"If more research is conducted in this sphere, we will be able to extract a lot more viable material."

The research team recovered the seeds and fruit after exploring dozens of fossilized squirrel burrows in the permafrost of Siberia's remote Yakutia region -- a grueling and costly enterprise for the cash-strapped scientists.

The seeds had been preserved, fully isolated from the surface, under some 30 meters of ice at an average temperature of minus 7 degrees Celsius.

In their lab outside Moscow, the scientists then tried to grow plants from the recovered seeds.

When that failed, they extracted the placental tissues of the plant's fruit and transferred them into pots.

The result, Yashina says, is a plant that "is a little different from its modern version, for example by the shape of its petals. So we can observe a kind of micro-evolution here."

Yashina and her colleagues published their findings in the February 21 issue of the U.S. journal, "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

Claire Bigg

Claire Bigg covers Russia, Ukraine, and the post-Soviet world, with a focus on human rights, civil society, and social issues. Send story tips to​


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Comment Sorting
by: Anatoli from: Antarctica
February 21, 2012 09:40
Russian scientists "regenerate" the Rusian Tsardom to Bolshevik system, and they "rescurrected" Bolshevism to Russian Federation. So ladies and gentilmen, we come end of the world, this ugly ghoul have no chance to resurrection or transfer any systemic body...
In Response

by: Dog Bar from: Earth
February 21, 2012 19:09
Good on Russia
Groundbreaking technology just think of what can be done and whats posisible from this, Remember evolution 30,000
years ago was much more progressive the sun was emmitting 60% more light and energy,
Life on earth was a different place.
But forward forward thinking though.

by: J from: US
February 22, 2012 00:40
That's nice. Could you also grow back the squirrel? Thanks.

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
February 22, 2012 09:06
Anatoli from Antarctica,
Bolsheviks were Lenin's form of Zarizm -
to build even more evil Zcarist empire with larger nazi
Varaga-Prussaka pseudo-proletarian armies
to conquer the World:
- "Like circular vawes to go arrtound the planet" (Lenin)

Zcardoom was the same, only less afficient in war but
as much evil in genocidal expansion.
New Russia is thursdy for the same,
only they have to re-arm in modern technological world
in the same time:
"Rybku s'est' i na ... sest'", that makes them manipulate
between pseudo-Democracy and pseudo-Zcarizm,
pseudo-Cousins-emperors and
and so on...
But they are still occupy parts of Georgia, and Moldova, and all
CIS, and preparing for another invasion into Europe and Asia...

As for your point about the pre-"ice age period", I would take
it on it merits, as article said.
Why not - maybe the idiots would finally realize that "Siberia"
was indeed Sa-Iberia, as on the old maps of the World and withdraw from Georgia and Caucsus with appology and compensation, with returning stolen from Georgian villages "unitazens", properly cleaned by Boldyrev,
or paying for new ones.

If there are doubts, it would be Russian mentality that go back
long time - about return of tropics to Russia, where Russian
papua-Magogies would run nude under the hut Arctic Sun...

Dog Bar (from Earth?) - you must be even more Russian
than Anatili - not only you have nostalgy about "Life on Earth"
then - running nude under hut sun, like Papua Magogy,
but also prize Russia for "groundbraking technology"!
No technology - just interest in the subject and
investments by self-prizing Russia...

I read long ago that also weat grain was found in
frothen Siberia - what happen with that one?
Could be that Russians found it be coming from
Kartlian grain, thus forbiding to publish it?

Well, knowing Rashkas...

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