30,000 year old Flower Revived in Russia

A flower dating back 30,000 years has been revived by scientists working in Russia. The flower seeds were found in fossil squirrell burrows and were carefully regenerated using a pioneering experiment. Sylene stenophylla is now the oldest flower in the world to be regenerated and is currently fertile, seeding viable seeds which can lead to more of the same flower being grown.

 The seeds found are dating back between 30,000 and 32,000 years. It is a phenomenal attempt by scientists to make this work and it has now raised the hope of bringing back extinct animals of the time including the mammoth. The findings of the experiment were posted in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienes in the United States of America. The reseachers claim now that permafrost serves as a natural depository for ancient life forms.

Svetlana Yashina of the Institute of Cell Biophysics of the Russian Academy Of Sciences led this incredible operation. She claims that the flower is very alike to its modern day version which still grows in Northern Siberia. Canadian scientists had previously resurrected smaller flower seeds found in similar burrows.

Russian research teams searched painstakingly through dozens of fossilised squirrell burrows looking for seeds that has not been damaged beyond repair. The burrows were located on the bank of the Kolyma River in Northern Siberia. The reason why these flower seeds have survived for so long is because ice has formed a solid barrier preventing water from entering the burrow and drowning the flower seeds. The layers were 38 metres below the present day surface and as well as the flower seeds there were also bones of large mammals, such as mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, bison, horse and deer in the burrow.

Researchers are now on the look out for some squirrell tissue that isn’t damaged so that they can look into creating animals are well as flowers.