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Cicadas and Zombie Seeds

12 Jul 2021, 15:44 UTC
Cicadas and Zombie Seeds
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Rip van Winkle snoozed for 20 years, and Sleeping Beauty for 100. But seeds in an underground bottle have easily beaten both these records, germinating long after the scientist who buried them a few feet underground had died. We investigate biology’s long haulers–from seeds to small creatures–who are able to wake up and restart their lives, even after tens of thousands of years. Also, what are those buried 17-year cicadas doing as they wait to come back topside? Guests: Chris Simon – Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut Sarah Dwyer – Chocolatier, Chouquette Chocolates Frank Telewski – Director of the W. J. Beal Botanical Garden at Michigan State University, and professor in its department of plant biology Rocco Mancinelli – Microbial ecologist, Bay Area Environmental Research Institute Featuring music by Dewey Dellay  Rip van Winkle snoozed for 20 years, and Sleeping Beauty for 100. But seeds in an underground bottle have easily beaten both these records, germinating long after the scientist who buried them a few feet underground had died. We investigate biology’s long haulers–from seeds to small creatures–who are able to wake up and restart their lives, even after tens of thousands of years. Also, what are those buried 17-year cicadas doing as they wait to come back topside?

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