I checked on DNA today for this week’s DNA Saturdays post. Came across this article from several days ago – Million-year-old mammoth teeth yield world’s oldest DNA: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/million-year-old-mammoth-teeth-yield-worlds-oldest-dna. Much longer article, but here’s a synopsis.
By Michael Greshko Published February 17, 2021 10 minute read
The record-breaking genetic material is offering fresh insights into how North America’s mammoths lived and evolved.
Scientists have sequenced the oldest DNA yet, smashing through a symbolic barrier in the study of ancient genomes and opening an unprecedented window into the evolution of North America’s extinct Ice Age giants—the Columbian and woolly mammoths.
The feat is unlikely to spark a mammalian Jurassic-Park style recreation; the study isn’t the first to sequence a mammoth’s genome, nor does it bring humankind any closer to resurrecting a mammoth. Instead, the study of DNA more than a million years old, published in Nature on Wednesday, sets a milestone for the rapidly growing study of ancient DNA, nearly doubling the record for the oldest genome ever sequenced.
The DNA comes from three mammoth molars found in Siberia in the early 1970s by Russian paleontologist Andrei Sher, a legend in the field for his mammoth research. Researchers estimate that the youngest of the three teeth is about 500,000 to 800,000 years old, while the older two are between one million and 1.2 million years old. The next-oldest DNA ever sequenced came from a nearly 700,000-year-old horse fossil found in Canada’s Yukon Territory.
Previous DNA Saturdays posts: https://upsdownsfamilyhistory.wordpress.com/tag/DNA-Saturdays/