Ancient Moss Revived After Ages on Ice
Scientists have regenerated mossy life frozen on Antarctica for a record number of centuries.
On an island called Signy, amid the rolling waves off Antarctica, lies a moss bank as old as the Roman Empire.
The discovery made by researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Reading, Berkshire, U.K., pushes back by many centuries the time span over which frozen ancient plants are able survive, to be revived by nothing more complex than exposure to light.
"It's basically the first record of anything regenerating of that sort of age," said the survey's Peter Convey, co-author of the report in Current Biology. "There are records of microbes being pulled out of ice cores and permafrost, but nothing that's multicellular has ever been recorded to do it."
On the island, located about