Related topics: dna sequences

Neanderthal ancestry identifies oldest modern human genome

Ancient DNA from Neandertals and early modern humans has recently shown that the groups likely interbred somewhere in the Near East after modern humans left Africa some 50,000 years ago. As a result, all people outside Africa ...

Ancient oral biome points to overall health

When a baby puts something from the floor in their mouth, we panic, but the mouth already contains thousands of bacteria. Now a team of researchers is looking at archaeological remains for an example of how Japanese oral ...

Neanderthal gut microbiota and the bacteria helping our health

Neanderthals' gut microbiota included beneficial microorganisms that are also found in the modern human microbiome. An international research group led by the University of Bologna achieved this result by extracting and analyzing ...

Study of ancient dog DNA traces canine diversity to the Ice Age

A global study of ancient dog DNA, led by scientists at the Francis Crick Institute, University of Oxford, University of Vienna and archaeologists from more than 10 countries, presents evidence that there were different types ...

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Ancient DNA

Ancient DNA can be loosely described as any DNA recovered from biological samples that have not been preserved specifically for later DNA analyses. Examples include the analysis of DNA recovered from archaeological and historical skeletal material, mummified tissues, archival collections of non-frozen medical specimens, preserved plant remains, ice and permafrost cores, Holocene plankton in marine and lake sediments, and so on. Unlike modern genetic analyses, ancient DNA studies are characterised by low quality DNA. This places limits on what analyses can achieve. Furthermore, due to degradation of the DNA molecules, a process which correlates loosely with factors such as time, temperature and presence of free water, upper limits exist beyond which no DNA is deemed likely to survive. Current estimates suggest that in optimal environments, i.e environments which are very cold, such as permafrost or ice, an upper limit of max 1 Million years exists. As such, early studies that reported recovery of much older DNA, for example, from Cretaceous dinosaur remains, have been proven to be wrong, with results stemming from sample or extract contamination, as opposed to authentic extracted DNA.

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