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Latest Ancient DNA Stories

Prehistoric Horse DNA Sequenced
2013-06-27 04:22:03

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online A fossilized bone fragment belonging to a prehistoric relative of modern-day horses has led to the oldest genome-sequencing effort of all time, according to new research published online Wednesday in the journal Nature. According to Jonathan Ball of BBC News, the approximately 700,000-year-old fossil predates all previous DNA mapping efforts by more than 500,000 years. The bone was recovered from the Thistle Creek site in the...

Researchers Uncover Genetic Payload Of Ancient Plankton In Black Sea Sediments
2013-05-07 10:23:32

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Sorting through the vast amounts of genetic data from the Black Sea sediment record, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) marine paleoecologist Marco Coolen was astounded by the variety of past plankton species that left behind their genetic makeup. This vast amount of data is called the plankton paleome. The Black Sea is semi-isolated from other bodies of water, and highly sensitive to climate driven environmental changes....

Scientists Use DNA To Study Ancient European History
2013-04-23 18:42:54

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Researchers wrote in the journal Nature Communications they have reconstructed the genetic history of modern Europe. The team was composed of scientists from the University of Adelaide's Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD), the University of Mainz in Germany and the National Geographic Society´s Genographic Project. They used DNA extracted from bone and teeth samples from prehistoric human skeletons to sequence a group...

Neanderthal Genome Fully Sequenced From Toe Bone
2013-03-20 06:21:09

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A team of German scientists have fully sequenced the genome of the Neanderthal and said they will be making the entire sequence freely available to the scientific community for research. The genome was produced from the remains of a toe bone found in a cave in Siberia, and is far more detailed than a previous mapping of the ancient genome published three years ago by the same team. Svante Paabo and colleagues at the Max Planck...

Falkland Islands Wolf Mystery Solved
2013-03-06 05:19:41

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A research group from the University of Adelaide has found the answer to one of natural history's most intriguing puzzles — the origins of the now extinct Falkland Islands wolf. The new study also reveals how the wolf came to be the only land-based mammal on the islands, which are almost 300 miles from the Argentina mainland. According to prior theories, the wolf somehow rafted on ice or vegetation, crossed a now-submerged land...

Ancient Otomi Tracked By Their DNA
2013-01-31 19:22:07

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Researchers are using DNA to help uncover what happened to the original Otomi inhabitants of the capital of a pre-Aztec Mexican state. Jaime Mata-Míguez, an anthropology graduate student and lead author of the study, and colleagues used ancient DNA sampling (aDNA) to track the biological whereabouts of the Otomi people following the establishment of the Xaltocan into the Aztec empire. The team believes that some...

Cloning A Neanderthal, Adventurous Woman Needed
2013-01-21 04:30:00

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Surrogacy, the act of a woman carrying a child for another person or couple, is a fairly standard and accepted practice in this day and age — unless, of course, you´re being recruited to give birth to the first Neanderthal baby in more than 30,000 years. Then it gets a little unorthodox. Yet, according to a series of reports published over the weekend, that´s exactly what Harvard Medical School geneticist George...

2012-12-14 12:19:49

Insights from Characterizing Extinct Human Gut Microbiomes A University of Oklahoma-led study has demonstrated that ancient DNA can be used to understand ancient human microbiomes.  The microbiomes from ancient people have broad reaching implications for understanding recent changes to human health, such as what good bacteria might have been lost as a result of our current abundant use of antibiotics and aseptic practices. Cecil M. Lewis Jr., professor of anthropology in the OU...

Searching For Richard III
2012-11-15 22:47:41

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online The humpbacked Richard III was the last of the Yorkist kings of England. His overly ambitious rise to power, involving the assumed assassinations of his much younger cousins, and his hubris ultimately led to his downfall and death at the hands of Henry Tudor of Wales on Ambien Hill in 1485. His reign had lasted two years. He was 32 years of age. While he was felled on the battlefield by his enemies, his body was not...

Ancient New Zealander Genome Sequenced
2012-10-23 21:08:06

April Flowers for redOrbit.com — Your University Online A research team from the University of Otago has achieved landmark results by sequencing the complete mitochondrial genome for members of what was likely to be one of the first groups of Polynesians to settle New Zealand. The results of this study, published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have revealed a surprising degree of genetic variation among these pioneering voyagers. Similar DNA...