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Defrosted Moss Sprouts Anew After 1,500 years in Antarctic Permafrost

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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2,000 year old moss core being excised on Signy Island. Image courtesy Peter Convey; Used with permission.

Last year I blogged about the surprising discovery that mosses released after 400 years of frozen glacial ensquashment had managed to survive and sprout new growth, a finding that radically altered our ideas about regrowth during the retreat of ice ages. Now, a new study in Current Biology pushes that back at least a millennium more with the discovery that mosses extracted from a permafrost moss bank in Antarctica’s South Orkney Islands sprouted new growth after treatment no fancier than being placed in a sealed container under a light in a British lab.

I covered the story today for National Geographic Daily News; it’s my first article for them, and you can read it here.

 

Jennifer Frazer About the Author: Jennifer Frazer is a AAAS Science Journalism Award-winning science writer. She has degrees in biology, plant pathology/mycology, and science writing, and has spent many happy hours studying life in situ. Follow on Twitter @JenniferFrazer.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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