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Latest Ancient DNA Stories

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2009-11-18 10:34:39

DNA recovered from fossilized bones of the moa, a giant extinct bird, has revealed a new geological history of New Zealand, reports a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A team of scientists led by the University of Adelaide has reconstructed a history of marine barriers, mountain building and glacial cycles in New Zealand over millions of years, using the first complete genetic history of the moa. After almost being totally submerged around 25...

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2009-10-20 08:25:00

Genetic information from an extinct species of bison preserved in permafrost for thousands of years could help improve modern agricultural livestock and breeding programs, according to University of Adelaide researchers. Researchers from the University's Australian Center for Ancient DNA (ACAD) worked with an international team of genomics researchers to analyze the genetic mutations of an ancient bison, many modern cattle breeds and members of the larger ruminant family tree, including deer,...

2009-04-01 09:49:08

In a new study published April 1 in the online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, ancient DNA (aDNA) is retrieved from various insect remains without destruction of the specimens. Together with eight other authors, Philip Francis Thomsen and Eske Willerslev, from the Centre for Ancient Genetics and Environments, Natural History Museum, University of Copenhagen, use a previously published non-destructive DNA extraction method (Gilbert et al. 2007) to retrieve DNA from ancient...

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2009-01-12 10:27:50

A treasure trove of information about pre-human New Zealand has been found in feces from giant extinct birds, buried beneath the floor of caves and rock shelters for thousands of years. A team of ancient DNA and palaeontology researchers from the University of Adelaide, University of Otago and the NZ Department of Conservation have published their analyses of plant seeds, leaf fragments and DNA from the dried feces (coprolites) to start building the first detailed picture of an ecosystem...

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2008-11-19 17:05:00

Scientists are making remarkable strides in unraveling much of the genetic code of the ice age's wooly mammoth. The million-dollar project is an initial rough draft, detailing the mammoth's more than 3 billion DNA building blocks. The groundbreaking work even has some considering a future where certain extinct, prehistoric species might one day be resurrected. "It could be done. The question is, just because we might be able to do it one day, should we do it?" said Penn State biochemistry...

2008-09-04 15:47:05

Woolly mammoths' last stand before extinction in Siberia wasn't made by natives - rather, the beasts had American roots, researchers have discovered. Woolly mammoths once roamed the Earth for more than a half-million years, ranging from Europe to Asia to North America. These Ice Age giants vanished from mainland Siberia by 9,000 years ago, although mammoths survived on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean until roughly 3,700 years ago. "Scientists have always thought that because mammoths...

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2007-07-05 15:00:00

WASHINGTON -- Ice-covered Greenland really was green a half-million or so years ago, covered with forests in a climate much like that of Sweden and eastern Canada today. An international team of researchers recovered ancient DNA from the bottom of an ice core that indicates the presence of pine, yew and alder trees as well as insects. The researchers, led by Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, say the findings are the first direct proof that there was forest in southern...

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2007-06-25 20:40:00

WASHINGTON -- Researchers studying Neanderthal DNA say it should be possible to construct a complete genome of the ancient hominid despite the degradation of the DNA over time. There is also hope for reconstructing the genome of the mammoth and cave bear, according to a research team led by Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Their findings are published in this week's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences....

2006-07-20 14:25:00

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON -- Experts who first managed to tease some DNA out of the bones of a Neanderthal teamed up on Thursday with a gene-sequencing company to try to get a complete Neanderthal genetic code. The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and 454 Life Sciences Corp in Branford, Connecticut, said they would use new technology that amplifies tiny samples of the scarce DNA from bones. "The advent of 454 Sequencing...

2006-02-08 07:31:11

NASA -- Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science recently discovered a new source of well-preserved ancient DNA in fossil bones. Their findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Fossil DNA is a potential source of information on the evolution, population dynamics, migrations, diets and diseases of animals and humans. But if it is not well preserved or becomes contaminated by modern DNA, the results are uninterpretable. The scientists, Prof....


Word of the Day
snash
  • To talk saucily.
  • Insolent, opprobrious language; impertinent abuse.
This word is Scots in origin and probably imitative.