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SCI/TECH:Scientists Bring Extinct DatePalm back to Life with 2000 YearOld Seed

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posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 09:01 PM
The Date Palm which is 12 inches high was grown from a seed unnearthed in excavations of an ancient mountain fortress. The variety of Date Palm went extinct in the middle ages.
Scientists working on the project believe it is the oldest seed ever germinated.

Researcher Sarah Sallon of the Louis Borick Natural Medicine Research Centre in Jerusalem said that one of the plant's leaves had been sent for analysis.

Dates had "an enormous amount of use in ancient times for infections, for tumours" she told the Associated Press news agency. "We're researching medicinal plants for all we're worth, we think that ancient medicines of the past can be the medicines of the future," she added.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This could lead to many extinct plants and trees being reintroduced, so this could have very benificial effects, as well for the environment. The medicinal uses seem very promising, the knowledge of the healing propoerties of plants and herbs was not just old wives tales. Plants were all those peoples had in the form of drugs and medicines.

[edit on 13-6-2005 by MischeviousElf]

posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 09:09 PM
That's great. Score one to set against all the extinctions we've caused! I wonder if there are any more old seeds just waiting to be watered.

posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 09:53 PM
This is very exciting. I hope they can do this with many other plant types, all they need is a viable seed. But what's next Jurassic Garden?

posted on Jun, 14 2005 @ 02:28 AM
I didn't know seeds were viable over anything like that time span. I know most of my grass seed is useless after about two years--well not useless, it feeds a lot of birds.

posted on Jun, 14 2005 @ 05:18 AM
In national geographice issue they studyed a valcano lake that had dryed up 10,000 years agaio and found these people digging up these seeds kind of like a brizzilian Nut seed and eating them. So they tryed growing them and at first had no sucess but after taking a file and filing a small hole in the seed they managed to get some to grow.
turns out they were some kind of water lillys and it isent untill the second year of there life they bloom.

posted on Jun, 14 2005 @ 11:54 AM
Simcity4Rushour This still seems to be the oldest seed ever germinated, if you could provide some more info or a link the 10,000 yr old seed would be much appreciated!

"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.


Michael Kruse, a seed historian at the University of Hohenheim in Germany, said he was not familiar with the research, but said if the claim is true, the date palm seed would be the oldest germinated in the world.


The excavation the seed came from as mentioned in the original story was an old hill fortress. It turns out that the Fortress is well known in history for a famous seige there. The fortress Masada is famous for a seige in AD73 where the occupants a Jewish community regarded as zealots were laid to seige by the Romans. When food and water were running low they all committed suicide rather than surrender.

Now the research on some of the seeds found :

Carbon dating of a fragment from the Masada seeds put their age at between 1,940 and 2,040 years


Therefore with the date of the seige and the probable age of the seeds given todays date the seeds could have been what was left in the stores of the Jewish Occupants after the seige.

The actual type of Date Palm seems to be one of the most important plants in the middle ages and before and was held in high regard across the region by all. Its also claimed o be a aphrodisiac!
I can just see the puns and jokes already

'Hey babe fancy a Date?' lol

The Roman natural historian Pliny records plentiful date forests between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, and the dates of Judaea were praised as increasing longevity, as an aphrodisiac, for curing infections and as a laxative, before dying out in the Middle Ages. The Prophet Mohamed stressed the date's importance as a vital food and for medicine. It is described in the Koran as a "symbol of goodness".

Israeli researchers believe it could help them to generate new medicines by uncovering the secret of why the ancient Judaean palm Phoenix dactylifera was so valued for its health-giving properties as well as its beauty and the protection it offered from the sun.

The actual potential for the benifits of this medicinaly is really large as has been shown before in other species

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 drug made from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree.

Looking forward to some hopefully beneficial aspects from this research.


posted on Jun, 14 2005 @ 01:38 PM
this is amazing...I hope to see more studies like this in the future.
Definitely a good think to watch.

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