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OT A seed bank to put Skylarks to shame

Discussion in 'UO Siege Perilous' started by Spree, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Spree

    Spree Babbling Loonie
    Governor Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Mar 13, 2004
    Likes Received:

    LONGYEARBYEN, Norway — With plant species disappearing at an alarming rate, scientists and governments are creating a global network of plant banks to store seeds and sprouts, precious genetic resources that may be needed for man to adapt the world’s food supply to climate change.

    Longyearbyen is in Norway, 600 miles from the North Pole. This week, the flagship of that effort, the Global Seed Vault near here, received its first seeds, millions of them. Bored into the middle of a frozen Arctic mountain topped with snow, the vault’s goal is to store and protect samples of every type of seed from every seed collection in the world.

    As of Thursday, thousands of neatly stacked and labeled gray boxes of seeds — peas from Nigeria, corn from Mexico — reside in this glazed cavelike structure, forming a sort of backup hard drive, in case natural disasters or human errors erase the seeds from the outside world.

    Descending almost 500 feet under the permafrost, the entrance tunnel to the seed vault is designed to withstand bomb blasts and earthquakes. An automated digital monitoring system controls temperature and provides security akin to a missile silo or Fort Knox. No one person has all the codes for entrance.

    The Global Vault is part of a broader effort to gather and systematize information about plants and their genes, which climate change experts say may indeed prove more valuable than gold. In Leuven, Belgium, scientists are scouring the world for banana samples and preserving their shoots in liquid nitrogen before they become extinct. A similar effort is under way in France on coffee plants. A number of plants, most from the tropics, do not produce seeds that can be stored.

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  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    RL seed banks are fascinating, because to maintain them you have to take the seeds out of stasis every now and then, grow them, and replenish the supply, to ensure they are viable. They have to deal with all sorts of factors like fungus damaging the seeds, and maintaining the storage environment is a big deal.

    Definitely more high tech, well stocked, and varied, than my Zento Seed Bank ever was, but I'm willing to bet my staff was better dressed. [​IMG]

  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    The bananas collection in Leuven (Belgium) is where I work [​IMG]

    Kind regards