32,000 Year-Old Plant Brought Back to Life

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whitewave
SH.org OP Date
2019-03-06 03:49:21
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Whitewave

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32,000 year-old plant brought back to life. "The oldest plant ever to be regenerated has been grown from 32,000-year-old seeds—beating the previous recordholder by some 30,000 years." Russian team found some seeds 124 feet below the permafrost, thawed them out, planted them and voilla! Ancient campion plant resurrected!

18521

prehistoric

18522

non prehistoric​

(Actually, I've seen silene plants that look exactly like the "prehistoric" ones but according to academia, this particular variety only grows in Siberia and Japan. Since it apparently hasn't been growing for 32,000 years, I'm not sure how they can know it only grows/grew in Siberia and Japan but so sayeth the sages). Actual scientists got their hands on the data and had this to say: "However, the plants in figures 2–4 in ref. 1 do not possess the diagnostic characters of S. stenophylla. The leaf morphology, inflorescence structure, floral morphology, indumentum, and seed characteristics instead all indicate that the plants belong to the Silene linnaeana Czerepanov (Lychnis sibirica L.) group. These taxa are only distantly related." (Dear Russia: when making up stories, accurate details are important)

There are several seeds that can lay dormant for years (50 years is the longest I've ever heard of until this discovery) which is why it's so hard to get rid of some of the weeds in your yard. One big problem with the whole thawing-it-out-and-bringing-it-back-to-life: our abysmal record in achieving anything like that in cryogenics research due to crystallization/lysing of the cells due to water expansion in the cells would kind of preclude that scenario. Even a flash-freezing would still be a freezing with its innate thawing problems. How to avoid lysing (exploding) plant cells (and presumably the seeds as well) which have been swelled by their water content?

The article doesn't explain how they overcame that little difficulty but I'm sure the cryogenics people would like to know. They do tell you that squirrels chewed on some of the seeds damaging them beyond redemption. (How do they know it was a squirrel? Did the squirrel leave a note? Did they find a squirrel with the seeds in its mouth? Do squirrels even eat silene seeds? They might-I honestly don't know). On the plus side of this patently ridiculous story, if it's true (the age of the recovered seeds, not the finding of them-although that may be entirely made up too), then it's big news for seed preservation for endangered species of plants and for our doomsday vault.

Kind of a hard experiment to repeat for verifiable results. First there'd have to be another find of 32,000 year old seeds in order to verify the results. I think the Russians are safe in that regard.

This find breaks Israel's oldest seed revived by 30,000 years. "Elaine Solowey, a botanist at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel resurrected the 2,000-year-old date palm that previously held the title of oldest regenerated seed. Her palm seed, though, had been buried in a dry, cool area, a far cry from the S. stenophylla seeds' permafrost environment. (So apparently, how they're stored doesn't make any difference? Wal-Mart lied to me! and I've been foolishly buying new seeds every year). Not only did her 2,000 year old seeds sprout after being found but they sat around in a drawer for 40 years before she decided to try planting one for chuckles and grins. Still grew. (I know you can't see me but I'm wiping the word "stupid" off what must be written on my forehead). Even she had a hard time believing it. "I assumed the food in the seed would be no good after all that time. How could it be?" said Solowey. She was soon proven wrong.

Silene does have some medicinal values but I'm not sure they apply to this particular (mis-identified version of Silene).

Well, now that you're all softened up on the gullibility scale......The French found some 200 MILLION year-old hemp seeds deep in the Antarctic permafrost and those little troopers also grew. "The obvious question on most minds: how potent is this strain of Cannabis? One researcher did sample the plant (for research purposes only, ya know) and measurements said one hit is the equivalent of smoking four ounces of a normal strain of cannabis (how would the researcher know what it's like to smoke 4 ounces of cannabis? Hahahaha. Kind of busted himself, didn't he?) . While it’s an important discovery, many are worried the ancient strain could get out of the lab and into the hands of marijuana growers. The lab said while the drug will leave the user catatonic for two to five days, there is absolutely no risk of overdose and the researchers promise they will do everything within their power to keep the plants secure." (They're probably smoking it up now to rid the world of this dangerous jurassic plant. Saved by the heroic French! Yay.) Now we know why Antarctica is a frozen wasteland-bunch of ancient stoners had one bowl too many and forgot to pay attention to the climate control regulator.

18524

It wouldn't be the first time people have made up an ancient seed brought back to fruitful story. 10,000 year-old Arctic Lupine found in 2005 in the frozen Yukon was found to be just a regular modern plant. "The oldest claim for longevity (> 10,000 years) cited in this book (published in 2005) is for arctic lupine (Lupinus arcticus) seeds frozen and buried in the Canadian Yukon. The author is skeptical of the claim, and, indeed, a recent scientific report confirms that the seeds were from modern times." Also in 1843 some guy claimed to have found and sprouted kamut wheat seeds found in the hand of an excavated mummy. The wheat sold for exorbitant prices and since the trick worked so well, the following year another guy unwrapping mummies found some wheat and pea seeds. Ancient wheat seemed to already be taken but he did manage to get some of the peas to grow. In 1850 some mummy raider found some roots which, when replanted, grew into dahlias. Maybe the Doomsday Vault should throw a few mummies in the freezer with their seeds.

18523

"Thanks to scores of scientific studies, we now have a pretty good idea of how long most seeds remain viable, that is, able to germinate. Under normal conditions (dry and cool), most seeds will remain viable for only a few years, and anything over 50 to 100 years is quite remarkable. (The reason, of course, is that some, if not most, of the seed is alive and respiring, and, thus, is using up its food supply, albeit very slowly.)"

It's been tried. "In 1933, a series of experiments were made on some wheat from Egyptian tombs. Every possible method of inducing germination was attempted, including an effort to use colored glass. All were in vain. The seeds merely crumbled to dust." (I wonder if they tried leaving it in a drawer for 40 years? That seems to work well).

These are the kinds of sarcastic discoveries I wish were true. I don't doubt the discoveries themselves happened; what I doubt is the age of the discoveries. It would really be great if I could just pop a few seeds from my heartiest plants into the freezer and let my great-grandkids thaw them out for growth in their gardens. I wouldn't have to worry about GMO seeds or re-buying fresh seeds every year. I would only need 1 pot plant instead of the legally allowed 6 plants. That'd really free up some extra space for the heirloom tomatoes.

From 2,000 years to 200 million years, seeds are apparently immortal. What I always ask myself when I hear yarns like this (commercials on tv included) is, "who benefits if I believe this?" TV commercials are easy to answer but in the case of lost-in-the-tundra-with-no-special-preparation-it lives! yarn, I can't figure out who is the beneficiary.
Note: This OP was recovered from the KeeperOfTheKnowledge archive.
Note: Archived Sh.org replies to this OP: 32,000 Year-Old Plant Brought Back to Life
 

Whitewave

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I think the Antarctic hemp seeds may have found their way into the rest of the world. I read about a strain with the Antarctic name but it may be just a marketing ploy. Anyone been catatonic for 2-4 days after indulging?
 

luddite

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Anyone been catatonic for 2-4 days after indulging?
I think you just described most people's entire lives.

These plant scientists are in the same boat as the Dino scientists. It is a sinking boat full of holes that only constant funding can plug. Each year the department heads must find many topics and a thesis to publish for all paying masters / phd students. All the good topics have been taken so dear reader is left with this above wishful thinking.

It will only get worse.
 

Whitewave

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Yes, the "publish or perish" model needs to have been removed ages ago. In fact, it should never have started.
 

JWW427

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Those preserved seeds are resilient containers for DNA.
The energy of life, or the "Source Field" may have regenerated them. This is why life on this planet
is so tough to eradicate. A good theory.

Not much of a website, but its the info thats important.

 
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