Scientists revive 400-year old moss entombed in glacier
WASHINGTON, June 3, 2013 – Canadian scientists have revived a 400-year-old moss specimen uncovered by a melting glacier. The findings, published in last week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have implications for biodiversity, glacial science, and even the colonization of Mars.
Led by Catherine La Farge, biologist at the University of Alberta, researchers collected the moss samples in 2009 from the retreating Teardrop Glacier on Ellesmere Island, Canada. As the glacier retreats—currently almost up to four meters per year—it reveals a perfectly preserved slice of the past, locked under the ice for centuries.