Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Recent discovery shakes up some basic assumptions about land plants

It all started with a daily stroll. University of Alberta Professor Catherine La Farge, camping out at the toe of the Teardrop glacier on Ellesmere Island in Canada's North, was walking along the edge of some ice. She noticed some of the moss had a greenish tinge. The startling burst of color had her thinking - could there be life in that old moss after all?

Mosses are especially hardy and ancient - 400 million years old. Mosses played a key role in moving life from water to land in evolution.

Mosses are especially hardy and ancient - 400 million years old. Mosses played a key role in moving life from water to land in evolution.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Moss, mini Ice Age, resiliency, Canada, reproduction


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - La Farge had an unprecedented view of what was entombed under the ice for 400 years such as old rocks, mud, and her specialty, ancient moss.

In the laboratory, La Farge found that the frozen moss was able to revive itself though it had been buried since the Little Ice Age (1550-1850). Her study is now shaking up some basic assumptions about land plants.

Scientists had previously assumed that plant material frozen under an Arctic glacier, the plant material was dead.

La Farge brought samples back to the lab in 2009. On closer examination, she noticed a tiny green stem. "Either it kept its color under the glacier or it grew after the moss emerged 400 years later," she said.

La Farge then ground up the old plant material, put it in Petri dishes full of potting soil and set it in the grow. La Farge and graduate student Krista Williams along with master's student David Wilkie watched for signs of life.

In about four to six weeks, tiny green filaments or strands called protonema began to grow. A dish was almost full of green moss from cells frozen for 400 years several months later. Of 24 samples potted, seven produced new growth.

"It was just incredible," La Farge said, whose work has given scientists another window into the basic life systems of plants.

"Now we have Little Ice Age moss material that produced juvenile plants."

there are all kinds of fungi and bacteria in glaciers. No one had previously considered that land plants could survive being entombed underneath, she said. "Now we have to think there may be populations of land plants that survived that freezing. It makes you wonder what's under the big ice caps in the Arctic and Antarctic and alpine glaciers," La Farge said. "And we have a 400-year-old lineage of genetic material," she added.

Mosses are especially hardy and ancient - 400 million years old, she said. Mosses played a key role in moving life from water to land in evolution. They evolved from green algae and paved the way for other land plants.

Mosses reproduce by cloning their cells so "all you need is even one cell to survive.

"If we could find some moss that went back 1,000 years or 5,000 years we may find some material that could be revived. But it all depends on the specific way the material is buried and the conditions," she says.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Technology

What are these mysterious objects found underneath Stonehenge? Watch

Image of Using underground radar and 3D imaging technology, a new study has revealed that there are numerous monuments underneath the famous Stonehenge.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

England's iconic and mysterious Stonehenge has just revealed a new mystery, as a first-of-its-kind study suggests that 15 previously undiscovered or poorly understood monuments lie hidden under the ancient monument and the surrounding countryside. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Forget the zombie apocalypse, the ROBOT APOCALYPSE is near! Watch

Image of In the future, robots will be connected through a kind of internet which will allow connected robots to gather and use information in everyday tasks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A large scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources-called Robo Brain-is currently downloading a processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. This ... continue reading


You'll never believe what Amazon picked up for nearly $1 billion Watch

Image of Tech giant Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million, beating out several rival competitors including Google.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Defeating tech rivals Google and Yahoo, Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million in a move announced late on August 25 which is the largest deal in Amazon's 20-year history. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The firm raised $20 ... continue reading


China bucks American tech giant Microsoft over fears of spying Watch

Image of China is creating its own operating system after blacklisting Windows 8 from government computers over fears that the American operating system could provide avenues for intelligence agencies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency announced that China is developing their own operating system for desktop computers and mobile devices, citing U.S. surveillance as one of the key factors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - China intends the new ... continue reading


Robots with an internet of their own! This is the way of the future Watch

Image of In the future, robots will be connected through a kind of internet which will allow connected robots to gather and use information in everyday tasks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A large scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources-called Robo Brain-is currently downloading a processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. This ... continue reading


A confident Ballmer leaves Microsoft 'completely' to run the Clippers Watch

Image of Steve Ballmer has left all positions of authority at Microsoft, leaving behind the tech giant to run the Los Angeles Clippers, for which Ballmer paid a record $2 billion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Eight months after he ended his role as Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer resigned from Microsoft's board, a move that ends more than three decades of direct involvement in the world's largest software maker. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 58-year-old, who ... continue reading


Why did NASA turn the cameras off? Live feed from Space Station shows UFO, NASA cuts the feed Watch

Image of Is this evidence of a UFO? Or perhaps just venting gasses or debris from the ISS?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fans of the International Space Station got an eyeful recently when an alleged UFO appeared on NASA's live feed from the station. Curiously, the feed was interrupted as soon as the object appeared fueling rumors that NASA is engaged in a cover-up. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Have you been hacked? New report says millions of personal information has been stolen Watch

Image of Russian hackers recently gathered customer individuals from more than 420,000 websites.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Russian hackers gathered information from over 420,000 websites, both smaller sites and "household name" sites, in an attempt to gather passwords to send out spam. LOS ANGLES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hold Security, a Milwaukee-based firm, discovered the theft but ... continue reading


ROSETTA: After 10 long years - 'We're in orbit!' Watch

Image of Exciting new images, taken from just 80 miles away shows boulders, craters and steep cliffs.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

All things come to those who wait. "After 10 years, five months and four days travelling towards our destination, looping around the sun five times, we are delighted to announce finally 'we are here,'" Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA's Director General, said in a ... continue reading


Xiaomi overtakes Samsung as leading Smartphone maker Watch

Image of Xiaomi has evolved from a niche player in China to a major force in its home market.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How do you pronounce Xiaomi? Think of "show me," and then pronounce the first syllable as if it was in "shower." While Xiaomi in English translates as "little rice," there's nothing little about this Chinese Smartphone manufacturer - Xiaomi has knocked South ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 1:17-19
17 'As for you, prepare yourself for action. Stand up ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:17-29
17 Now it was this same Herod who had sent to have ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 29th, 2014 Image

St. Sabina
August 29: St. Sabina's feast day is August 29th. We know St. Sabina only ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter