The Next Generation Of Scientists Is Digging Up Seeds Buried 142 Year Ago : Short Wave On April 15, at four o'clock in the morning, a small group of scientists found their way to a secret location. A light wintry mix of rain and snow was falling. The lousy weather was a relief because it meant even less of a chance that someone might randomly pass by.

Today on the show, NPR science correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce unearths why a new generation of scientists is digging up seeds under the cover of night buried 142 years ago.
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A 142-Year-Old Science Seed Caper

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A 142-Year-Old Science Seed Caper

A 142-Year-Old Science Seed Caper

A 142-Year-Old Science Seed Caper

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/990183146/990323306" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

William Beal, standing at center, started a long-term study on seed germination in 1879. He buried 20 bottles with seeds in them for later researchers to unearth and plant. Michigan State Unviersity hide caption

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Michigan State Unviersity

William Beal, standing at center, started a long-term study on seed germination in 1879. He buried 20 bottles with seeds in them for later researchers to unearth and plant.

Michigan State Unviersity

On April 15, at four o'clock in the morning, a small group of scientists found their way to a secret location. A light wintry mix of rain and snow was falling. The lousy weather was a relief because it meant even less of a chance that someone might randomly pass by.

Today on the show, NPR science correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce unearths why a new generation of scientists is digging up seeds under the cover of night buried 142 years ago. More on this story here:



Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

This episode was fact-checked by Rasha Aridi, and edited by Viet Le.