2000yr old/new born tree

stubeeef

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 10, 2004
2,703
2
Like jurasic park, well kinda.
JERUSALEM - Israeli researchers have germinated a sapling date palm from seeds 2,000 years old, hoping its ancient DNA could reveal medicinal qualities to benefit future generations, one of the scientists leading the project said Sunday.

Sarah Sallon, of the Louis Borick Natural Medicine Research Center in Jerusalem, said she and her colleagues used seeds found in archaeological excavations at Masada, the desert mountain fortress where ancient Jewish rebels chose suicide over capture by Roman legions in A.D. 73. She said they were the oldest seeds ever brought back to life.

"A lotus seed was germinated (in China) after 1,200 years, but nothing has been germinated coming from this far back, not to 2,000 years," she said.

The palm plant, nicknamed Methusaleh after the biblical figure said to have lived for 969 years, is now about 12 inches tall. Sallon and her colleagues have sent one of its leaves for DNA analysis in the hope that it may reveal medicinal qualities that have disappeared from modern cultivated varieties.

The date palms now grown in Israel were imported from California and are of a strain originating in
Iraq, she said. The Judean date prized in antiquity but extinct until Methusaleh's awakening, might have had very different properties to the modern variant.

Sallon said the project is more than a curiosity. She and her colleagues hope it may hold promise for the future, like the anti-malarial treatment artemisinin, developed out of traditional Chinese plant treatment, and a cancer medicine made from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree
Interesting about the potential medical benefits.
Sarah Sallon, of the Louis Borick Natural Medicine Research Center in Jerusalem, said she and her colleagues used seeds found in archaeological excavations at Masada, the desert mountain fortress where ancient Jewish rebels chose suicide over capture by Roman legions in A.D. 73. She said they were the oldest seeds ever brought back to life.
Link
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,408
0
VA
That's quite cool - makes me wonder what other things are out there that have gone extinct. I do remember that there is one such plant from Northern Africa that was so tasty, that it disappeared eons ago and it only has a few references in ancient texts. Can't remember what its called, but when I saw it the first time it made me think of a human form of cat nip :D

D
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,574
0
The link isn't working for me.

I certainly hope that the Methuselah plant will be a success. Many of the older plants had medicinal uses, hope that will be the case for Methuselah. The possibilities are endless.

Found it strange that they had to import Palm trees from California to plant in Israel. I hope that you will keep us updated on this stubeeef. ;)
 

mischief

macrumors 68030
Aug 1, 2001
2,920
0
Santa Cruz Ca
wdlove said:
The link isn't working for me.

I certainly hope that the Methuselah plant will be a success. Many of the older plants had medicinal uses, hope that will be the case for Methuselah. The possibilities are endless.

Found it strange that they had to import Palm trees from California to plant in Israel. I hope that you will keep us updated on this stubeeef. ;)
Much of France's wine grapes are Californian strains as a result of a rampant blight spread by the glassy winged sharpshooter.

The vast majority of American Bald Eagles in the 48 states are genetically Canadian, as are the wolves.

Most strains of west coast Salmon are Canadian or Alaskan, transplanted to streams depleated of their former stock.
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,408
0
VA
MongoTheGeek said:
Kinda cool that the seed was from Masada.

I hope extremists don't read too much into it.
I'm sure when you were typing that you knew that there are sure to be individuals who will - and probably have already said they'd never eat a date from one of those trees....

But if they found one in Masada, I'm thinking that there might be others in the region.

D