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Antarctic moss lives after 1,500+ years under ice
Date:3/17/2014

" Convey says, adding that they also make sure not to accidentally get any other life forms in the mix. They placed the sliced and seemingly lifeless mosses in an incubator environment at a normal growth temperature and light level, and voila, new shoots of the parent species began to appear.

While 1,500 years on ice is impressive to say the least, the findings suggest that it may be possible for mosses to persist for even longer.

"The potential clearly exists for much longer survivalalthough viability between successive interglacials would require a period of at least tens of thousands of years," the researchers write. "Such a possibility provides an entirely new survival mechanism and a refugium for a major element of the polar terrestrial biota."


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Contact: Mary Beth O'Leary
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Cell Press
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Antarctic moss lives after 1,500+ years under ice
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