Feb 29 2012

Botanical Wednesday: Doesn’t look a day over 25,000 to me

This is a plant germinated from 32,000 year old tissue recovered from permafrost. I’ll take their word for it, but I’d still like to see some ID.

(via NatGeo)

(Also on FtB)


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  1. 1
    Anthony K

    So, if this plant grew from dirt, then why is there still—fuck it, that wasn’t going to be anywhere near as funny as I’d hoped.

  2. 2
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Well, I’m no judge of age then! Looks like it could’ve sprouted just a few weeks or so ago to me.

    That’s one seriously impressive achievement when you think about the length of time the seeds have been frozen for.

  3. 3
    Rip Steakface

    Wait for Kirk Cameron to see this. He’ll be talking about crocoflowers in no time.

  4. 4
    Glen Davidson

    but I’d still like to see some ID.

    No you wouldn’t.

    Trust me, ID is stupid.

    Glen Davidson

  5. 5

    Wait for Kirk Cameron to see this. He’ll be talking about crocoflowers in no time.

    Or claiming that it proves the timeline in Genesis.

  6. 6

    A resurrection ! Botanical Jeebuz, a miracle !

  7. 7
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    PZ, the ScienceBlogs link at the bottom should read “Also on SB” instead of “Also on FTB.”

  8. 8

    How very Jurassic Park.

    Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should

    What could possibly go wrong?

  9. 9
    Keith Peterson

    I’m curious. How much would these plants differ from their current wild counterparts on the genetic level?

  10. 10

    Today a pretty little plant from seeds in a frozen squirrel burrow…
    Tomorrow Triffids, my visions for the future are working at last.
    Now all we need is the croco-mammoth to keep these little plants in check…

  11. 11

    Jerry Coyne posted about this a few days ago; it’s a really cool study done by some Russian scientists, and these ancient plants have managed to produce offspring, as well.

    The only thing the study was missing was an attempt to cross it with its modern-day descendants.

  12. 12

    32000 years old???? Do you actually mean that one day I can have my very own pet wooly mammoth?!

  13. 13

    B-but Satan must have planted it to fool scientists!

  14. 14
    John Morales

    craigore @12, sure, as soon as someone finds a viable woolly mammoth seed.

  15. 15

    Mmmm . . .

    Looks tasty.

    . . . wish I were a mammoth . . .

  16. 16

    Not only that, but its descendants appear to have evolved over the time span it was frozen.

    Note that they didn’t manage to germinate the seeds directly. They found viable tissue attached to the embryo and cultured it.

    Lots more info at the link to Jerry Coyne’s blogwebsite.

  17. 17

    I see a pretty little white flower but I hear Christopher Plummer singing in the Alps. Of course I’m three large Scotches into the evening…so there’s that.

  18. 18

    Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow, bloom and…”

    Wait, you mean it’s not an Edelweiss?
    It’s a weed that growsgrew…grows in Siberia?
    Meh. Guess I’ll put the curtains back up.

  19. 19

    I’d want to see the genetics as well, plus I get the feeling I’ll need to learn the method as it’s going to be used by creationists to show that plants could survive a global flood.

  20. 20
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    As long as its not a global flood of mammoth seed.

    Did I say that out loud?


    What’s in this wine?

  21. 21
    Bertil Wennergren

    This clearly shows that the Bible is right, and science wrong. The fact that the seeds did germinate proves that they can’t be as old as 32.000 years, but at the most 6.000.

    Please note that the above is just a preview of what will soon be read on all godbot blogs.

  22. 22
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I have been wondering why this hasn’t shown up here earlier.
    I was fascinated when I heard it on the news.
    I’m waiting for the seeds appearing in the gardening store, I want one.

  23. 23

    craigore@#12 I heard they are already thinking of doing the mammoth project (no pun intended). You know how that would turn out.

    I haven’t heard what the comparable current species of that plant might be, thought I think I’ve seen similar flowers at our local botanical garden, if not in the wild.

    Any botanists out there?

  24. 24
    David Marjanović

    I’m curious. How much would these plants differ from their current wild counterparts on the genetic level?

    That’s all explained in the paper.

  25. 25

    Of course that plant material isn’t 32,000 years old. I mean, sure, it could survive the flood and all, if conditions were right. . . but you just know they can’t carbon date it accurately. . .

    Okay, I’ve had my coffee now. Brain started up and in gear. what did I write ? Oh, my! Creationism, while I was still half asleep! This is serious. Previously I only denied the existence of Hawking radiation while I was still half asleep. I’m going to have to see my doctor about this.

  26. 26

    @John & Grumpy
    I’m hearing a 6 year time frame between now and first clone. Have to admit, it’s got me feelin’ pretty giddy.

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