It seems the month is all about reviving organisms that are ancient. Earlier, a 30,000 year old virus was discovered to be alive and kicking in Siberia. And now, scientists have revived a moss. Not just any moss, a moss that has been preserved and enclosed in ice for more that 1500 years.
The moss was found on Signy island (375 miles off the coast of Antarctica) and it’s scientific name is Chorisodontium aciplyllum.
Here is something surprising (*drumroll*): After the moss was thawed, it showed signs of growth. For the first time in centuries. It goes into the record books for the oldest multicellular organism revived till date. It has buried and burned the previous record which was a mere 20 years.
Usually, scientists clone the genetic material of the ancient organism, essentially creating a living and breathing copy of the organism. But what is surprising about this one, is that nothing more than heat and water was required to revive the plant. The plant, evidently has a great endurance.
After 3 weeks of care, it’s shoots were showing signs of growth. Care means, careful cutting of the moss core and recreating natural conditions. Not very complex, is it?
Many are reconsidering the concept of organisms being extinct after the discoveries and successful revival of the moss and the Siberian virus which was discovered earlier. According to experts, when the ice starts to thaw in these regions as an effect of climate change, there is a potential for organisms preserved in ice to come out of their slumber, alive and kicking.
Source : Report in Current Biology