Wednesday 22 February 2012

Permafrost Plant vs Endangered Species

Scientists led by the late David Gilichinsky at the Russian Academy of Sciences claim to have grown a plant from seeds buried in permafrost for 30,000 years.    
plant from 30,000yr old seed

Although noteworthy as a scientific endeavour, is this the best use of our scientific resources?

A global analysis of extinction risk for the world's plants, conducted by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew together with the Natural History Museum, London and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has revealed that 22%  of the world’s plant species are threatened with extinction ( September 2010).

Dwarf Lake Iris-endangered
“We cannot sit back and watch plant species disappear – plants are the basis of all life on earth, providing clean air, water, food and fuel. All animal and bird life depends on them and so do we. Having  the tools and knowledge to turn around loss of biodiversity is now more important than ever and the Sampled Red List Index for Plants gives conservationists and scientists one such tool.”  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’s Director, Professor Stephen Hopper.


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