Gingko Biloba: A 'Living Fossil' With Life-Extending Properties

Photo credit: Ginkgo tree with therapod dinosaurs and several extinct birds from various periods within the Mesozoic era. (John Agnew)

Those interested in learning how to enhance their longevity may want to look to Gingko Biloba, whose very existence today as a “living fossil” speaks volumes to its ability to survive conditions that would otherwise kill or dramatically shorten the lifespan of most other species.

There is a thread of biological immortality woven into all things that are living. Anything that breathes or pulsates with life today contains within its germline genetic information that originated from a last universal common ancestor (LUCA), and from which all living things — plants, bacteria, fungi and animal included — descended. While somatic cells within multicellular organisms perish, their germline stem cells are capable of infinite self-replication, which in the case of gingko biloba, has been going on for at least a quarter of a billion years.

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