Deep in the frozen tundra of northeastern Siberia, a squirrel buried fruits some 32,000 years ago from a plant that bore white flowers. This winter a team of Russian scientists announced that they had unearthed the fruit and brought tissue from it back to life. The fruits are about 30,000 years older than the Israeli date palm seed that previously held the record as the oldest tissue to give life to healthy plants.
Put the symbolism aside for a moment and imagine the possibilities for different types of flora and fawna coming back from around the time when hunter-gatherers truly first emerged. What secrets could be unlocked? Are there any cures for what ails us in plants from way back when? The questions that come up are fascinating and inspiring.
Hooray for science!
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