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Frozen seeds can last 50 to 20,000 years!

Scientific

New Member
Hi -- I was just listening to Terri Gross's always wonderful "Fresh Air" program on NPR. She was interviewing the guy who started The Global Seed Vault nine years ago, where they store the world's crop biodiversity in a giant tunnel in a mountain just 700 miles south of the North Pole.

The who runs the place said they store the seeds at about 1 degree Fahrenheit, and that at that temperature they can last from 50 to 20,000 years.

Since I occasionally see discussions here about seed storage, I though I'd pass that along.

Inside The Global Seed Vault, Where The History And Future Of Agriculture Is Stored

Inside The Global Seed Vault, Where The History And Future Of Agriculture Is Stored : NPR
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
The Global Seed Vault
These things will be very valuable at some point in the future. Although they might simply be treated as spoils of war instead of distributed properly. Or they could end up being forgotten, I suppose.

nine years ago, where they store the world's crop biodiversity in a giant tunnel in a mountain just 700 miles south of the North Pole.

The who runs the place said they store the seeds at about 1 degree Fahrenheit, and that at that temperature they can last from 50 to 20,000 years.
Not surprising. In 2005 a Judean Date Palm seed found in an archaeological dig in Isreal was grown. And about ten years ago, scientists managed to extract three viable plant embryos from immature seeds that had been buried 125' below the frost line in squirrel hibernation dens and managed to grow them into healthy plants which produced 100% viable seed - and they'd been carbon dated to just shy of 32,000 years old. Although that was out of something like 500,000 or 600,000 seeds...

I wonder if they evacuate the air and replace it with nitrogen or perhaps a noble gas at those seed vaults?
 

Scientific

New Member
I wonder if they evacuate the air and replace it with nitrogen or perhaps a noble gas at those seed vaults?
If you listen to the interview at the link (I found it fascinating), the designer said they designed it to be as low cost and low maintenance as possible. It's just a giant tunnel into a mountain. No running water, no bathrooms, no N2 gas. Just a big, cold hole. ;)
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
If you listen to the interview at the link (I found it fascinating)
I found it on the NPR One app. Still looking for my earbuds...
 

BigSur

Well-Known Member
I have been freezing cannabis seeds since 1977. Many still germinate at 100% rates. Yet, here on this forum people constantly trash talk my posts and say that Cannabis beans cannot or should not be frozen. Many rags and books say that as well. Yet, the truth is that they can be frozen and thawed, and they grow just fine.
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
As far as I know (and I'll admit that I could be mistaken), most (maybe all?) of those "preservation against disaster" wide-variety seed storage vaults that are around the world store their contents in a cold-temperature environment. Some of them are located in arctic conditions, and I don't think they bother to heat them for the comfort of their caretakers. I read a brief article about one a while back that included a photo, and the guy was wearing a parka.

If longterm cold storage was a guaranteed kill, most of the inhabitants of this planet would have never been born. It has, after all, gone through several ice ages, lol.
 

pontiacman

Well-Known Member
I have been freezing cannabis seeds since 1977. Many still germinate at 100% rates. Yet, here on this forum people constantly trash talk my posts and say that Cannabis beans cannot or should not be frozen. Many rags and books say that as well. Yet, the truth is that they can be frozen and thawed, and they grow just fine.
Yup. If they didn't, it would have never survived the ice age.....
 

lxcpanda

New Member
also heard from paul stamet talk that fungal spores can withstand newtons of force equal to 27000N, around the same to leave earth orbit
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
Yeah, things like that are part of the reason why contamination of things we send to other planets is a concern; we search them (Mars, for example) for signs of present/past life and do not want to find life... that we have merely brought with us :rolleyes: . Especially important if the person is chasing the "origin" question.

Some lifeforms have been known to survive the vacuum of space (and its other challenges). In theory, some of them could have done so whilst originally traveling TO our little rock. We call these lifeforms "simple," lol, but - if they had a voice - perhaps they would reply that the universe does not require the ability to invent the "smart" phone. Look at sharks and it is evident that intelligence is not a survival requirement.

Err... I've lost the topic again, haven't I? ;)
 

lxcpanda

New Member
Yeah, things like that are part of the reason why contamination of things we send to other planets is a concern; we search them (Mars, for example) for signs of present/past life and do not want to find life... that we have merely brought with us :rolleyes: . Especially important if the person is chasing the "origin" question.

Some lifeforms have been known to survive the vacuum of space (and its other challenges). In theory, some of them could have done so whilst originally traveling TO our little rock. We call these lifeforms "simple," lol, but - if they had a voice - perhaps they would reply that the universe does not require the ability to invent the "smart" phone. Look at sharks and it is evident that intelligence is not a survival requirement.

Err... I've lost the topic again, haven't I? ;)
not by any means. i believe crick (of watson and crick) himself wrote a paper about how directed panspermia (basically, it was aliens.jpg) was the most likely way for higher life forms to have evolved on earth. this was before astronomers discovered billions of earth like planets or the what, 2 trillion reportedly estimated galaxies out in the observable universe now? the seeds mentioned in the op are said to last 20,000 years - but what is that on a galactic time scale really?

at the same time, intellgience can be distinct from consciousness. feel that even in the so called age of physics theres a lot to support that consciousness is fundamental to matter. take er=epr, for example. the idea that entangled particles transfer/cohere information through micro, planck scale wormholes. if true, it's essentially saying that at a fundamental level, even nature communicates with itself.
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
not by any means. i believe crick (of watson and crick) himself wrote a paper about how directed panspermia (basically, it was aliens.jpg) was the most likely way for higher life forms to have evolved on earth. this was before astronomers discovered billions of earth like planets or the what, 2 trillion reportedly estimated galaxies out in the observable universe now?
It was also before someone took some really common materials, placed them into an environment that resembled the early atmosphere on this planet (and likely a great many other planets, too), sent some electricity through it (to mimic lightning)... and ended up with the building blocks for life, lol.

Sure, life could have come from somewhere else. But I'm a fan of Occam's razor. Why look for a complicated answer to a problem (okay, that should probably read "why concentrate on the search for a complicated answer...) when a simple one also fits? I suppose it could have been modified by some sort of external force, though.

To me, the real mystery isn't "Where did life come from?" but, rather, "How did any of it ever evolve intelligence." It's obviously not a survival trait, lol, and it's starting to look like the opposite might actually be the case.
 

HydroponicFireman

Well-Known Member
Well, I guess I will find out or not very shortly because I now have 20,000 seeds from weed that's been in my freezer for a year now so if they germinate then I guess 20,000 x 1 = 20,000 years right?
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
Uh... What?

No, all that would tell you would be whether they survived ONE year and were still viable. On the other hand, if you were to germinate all 20,000 (counting them must have been monotonous), you would have answered that specific question with a rather high degree of confidence ;) .
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
LMFAO - I hadn't considered that. I had considered... Well, when I saw that you had replied to this thread, I started assuming that I had missed something important, and that you'd replied to explain that I was wrong (and why/how) :rolleyes: .

Guess I need to consider humor as a reason for doing something, eh? (One of those days...)
 
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