Russian scientists regenerated this Sylene stenophylla plant from tissue of fossil fruit. Image Source: Institute of Cell Biophysics of the Russian Academy of Sciences; National News and Pictures via Daily Mail.
Several news outlets are carrying a story about a successful Russian cloning of a 30,000 year old plant, which bore fruit and seeds: "An Ice Age flower has come back to life. How exactly did that happen? Well, a team of Russian scientists discovered a burrow that contained fruit and seeds left in the Siberian permafrost by a squirrel that buried them about 30,000 years ago. Remnants of the Silene stenophylla blossom were found perfectly preserved, and in an experiment to extract the seeds, the scientists pioneered a new way ['micropropagation'] to resurrect the plant. For thousands of years, the flower was fully encased in ice, and no water was able to get to it. The storage chambers that the squirrels created were filled with hay and animal fur to protect their treasure. Stanislav Gubin, one scientist working with the discovery, called it a 'natural cryobank.' The blossom with its white flowers looks similar to its modern-day version, which also grows in the same region as its predecessor." (Thanks to -J.)
This outcome makes the cloned plant, "The most ancient, viable, multi-cellular, living organism on Earth," and it has researchers chattering about Beringia (the lost land bridge between Asia and North America) as being a great storehouse of ancient extinct organisms.
The successful experiment also has implications for space exploration: scientists are hoping that if extinct plants and animals trapped in our planet's permafrost can be brought back to life through cloning, then similar resurrections could be done on Mars. They speculate that they could revive dead Martian lifeforms, which may be preserved in permanent ice on the Red Planet.