Frozen Zombie Plants From Little Ice Age Revived After 400 Years
Given the short half-life of DNA, we may never have a Jurassic Park - but could we one day boast of an Ice Age Garden?
Scientists have brought back to life a collection of roughly 400-year-old frozen plants recovered from melting glaciers in the Canadian Arctic. The feat, described in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that certain plants might be much tougher than previously thought, able to regenerate after centuries under ice.
“Their structural preservation is exceptional,” the study authors wrote.
The plants were dug out from Sverdrup Pass, where the Teardrop Glacier has been melting at faster and faster rates - from 3.2 meters per year between 2004 and 2007, up to 4.1 meters from 2007 to 2009. Both of these are roughly double earlier calculated rates from just a few decades ago. The melt has been exposing long-frozen Arctic plants, whose blackened and discolored remains were long considered dead.