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Ancient DNA: reconstruction of the biological history of Aldaieta necropolis
Date:4/8/2008

A research team from the Department of Genetics, Physical Anthropology & Animal Physiology in the Faculty of Science and Technology at the Leioa campus of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), and led by Ms Concepcin de la Ra, has reconstructed the history of the evolution of human population and answered questions about history, using DNA extracted from skeleton remains.

Knowing the history of past populations and answering unresolved questions about them is highly interesting, more so when the information is obtained from the extraction of genetic material from historical remains. An example is the necropolis at Aldaieta (Araba) where some of these mysteries about these peoples have been answered thanks to the study of their DNA.

Aldaieta brings together certain important features which make this site a prime archaeological and historical record and its conservation an important task of restoration and study. In this vein, the Department of Genetics, Physical Anthropology & Animal Physiology in the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), has undertaken a study of DNA in the necropolis at Aldaieta (Araba).

The researchers at the UPV/EHU have been studying the genetic material of ancient remains, extracted both from bones and teeth, in order to interpret the biological and social meaning of this necropolis. The study of ancient DNA is a field in which laboratory work is enormous for a number of reasons. On the one hand, in comparison with modern or current DNA, that extracted from the bones and teeth is quite degraded and is in very small quantities. As a consequence, the risk of contamination is high. This is why, at all times the results obtained have to be authenticate and it has to be demonstrated that they are not due to contamination or handling/manipulation, but have genuinely been obtained from the samples.

The research work began with the extraction and subseque
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Contact: Irati Kortabitarte
iratik@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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