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Earth

Scientists Clone Oldest Living Organism 141

goran72 sends along the story of the world's oldest living organism, a shrub that grows in Tasmania and reproduces only by cloning. Tasmanian scientists have cloned Lomatia tasmanica as part of a battle to save it from a deadly fungus. From the RTBG's press release (which seems to load slowly in the US):"The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens [RTBG] is working towards securing the future of a rare and ancient Tasmanian native plant... Lomatia tasmanica, commonly known as King's Lomatia, is critically endangered with less than 500 plants growing in the wild in a tiny pocket of Tasmania's isolated south west. The RTBG has been propagating the plant from cuttings since 1994... 'Fossil leaves of the plant found in the south west were dated at 43,600 years old and given that the species is a clone, it is possibly the oldest living plant in the world,' [Botanist Natalie Tapson] said."

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