Russians Revive Ice Age Flower From Frozen Burrow

Published February 20, 2012 8:09PM (EST)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian scientists say they have resurrected an entire plant — an Ice Age flower — in a pioneering experiment that paves the way for the revival of other species.

They say the Silene stenophylla is the oldest plant ever to be regenerated and is fertile, producing white flowers and viable seeds.

The raw material for the project was fruit tissues from an Ice Age squirrel's chamber, a burrow containing fruit and seeds that had been stuck in the Siberian permafrost for over 30,000 years.

The Russians said the experiment proves that permafrost serves as a natural depository for ancient life forms. They published their findings in Tuesday's "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" of the United States.

By Salon Staff

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