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Tue Jan 14, 2020, 05:52 PM

The Secret That Helps Some Trees Live More Than 1,000 Years.

These tree don't die of old age. Pests, drought, or something else kills them first.

The ginkgo is a living fossil. It is the oldest surviving tree species, having remained on the planet, relatively unchanged for some 200 million years. A single ginkgo may live for hundreds of years, maybe more than a thousand. They’ve survived some of our world’s greatest catastrophes, from the extinction of the dinosaurs to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

So what’s the secret to their longevity?

In the rings and genes of Ginkgo biloba trees in China, some of which are confirmed to be more than 1,000 years old, scientists are starting to find answers.

“In humans, as we age, our immune system begins to start to not be so good,” said Richard Dixon, a biologist at the University of North Texas. But in a way, “the immune system in these trees, even though they’re 1,000 years old, looks like that of a 20-year-old.”


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