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Scientists Resurrect Ice Age Flower

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This story sounds like the stuff of hardcore science fiction, but it’s really a heartwarming squirrel success story. Over 30,000 years ago, some industrious Siberian squirrels collected nuts and seeds and stored them in their hibernation burrows. When scientists discovered these burrows in modern day Russia, they were buried more than 60 feet below the surface, and they contained thousands of seed samples that had been effectively flash-frozen, preserved perfectly under the permafrost. Here’s where things get really crazy: scientists were able to use fruit tissues recovered from these ice age squirrel burrows to resurrect the Silene stenophylla plant, and the new specimen is fertile, complete with white flowers and viable seeds. Is this one more step toward making the plot of “Encino Man” a reality? We can only wait, and hope. [ABC News]

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