Archive | March 18, 2014

It’s Alive! Scientists Revive 1,500 Year-Old Antarctic Moss

Pic: Carlos Zelayeta (CC)

Pic: Carlos Zelayeta (CC)

Welcome…. to Jurassic Moss! Okay, it’s not jurassic – not even close. British scientists recently succeeded in bringing back to life a moss sample collected from the Antarctic, so when you go all Stephen King in Creepshow, blame them.

Via Scientific American:

To test whether the Antarctic moss would regrow, the researchers punched into the permanently frozen soil beneath the living moss, removing cores that contained frozen soil, ice and plants. To prevent contamination, they quickly wrapped the mossy cylinders in plastic and shipped them back to Britain at freezing temperatures. In the laboratory, the team sliced up the core and grew new moss in an incubator, directly from shoots preserved in the permafrost. They also carbon-dated the different layers, which provided an age estimate for revived moss shoots.

The oldest moss in the core first grew between 1,697 and 1,533 years ago, when the Mayan empire was at its height and the terror of Attila the Hun was ending in Europe and Central Asia.

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