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The Varsity

The University of Toronto's
Student Newspaper Since 1880

32,000 year old seeds come to life

By Cristina Olteanu
Published: 6:50 pm, 4 March 2012
Vol CXXXII, No. 20 under ,

Seeds from a flowering plant named Silene stenophylla have been discovered in Siberian permafrost among bison and rhinoceros bones. Scientists have successfully extracted undamaged seeds and germinated the plants, leading to the reproduction of this ancient flora. This extraordinary study demonstrates that permafrost holds an abundance of genes that scientists can bring back into our world, even those of now extinct species. Future studies might involve discovering the precise conditions in which these frozen seeds have been kept deep in the permafrost layer in order to recreate these ideal environments in laboratory conditions.