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The Professor and the plant

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21 April

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜€๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿณ ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฐ๐—ต ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฎ. For centuries, humankind has been on an endless hunt for the Fountain of Youth. But perhaps it wasnโ€™t a fountain we should have been looking for. A chance encounter with a remarkable plant with an ability to revitalise itself within a few hours of light rain brings hope. UCT Professor Jill Farrant is working to isolate the gene sequence of these plants to find out what secrets they could unlock. Theyโ€™re called the Resurrection Pants, a very rare species seemingly able to come back from the dead. These plants are known to lose up to 95 percent of their water capacity, only to bloom back to life in as little as 12 hours after rain. So, could these plants be the real Fountain of Youth or perhaps reveal how we might survive the impacts of climate change?