Navigation Links
DNA testing may unlock secrets of medieval manuscripts
Date:1/12/2009

Thousands of painstakingly handwritten books produced in medieval Europe still exist today, but scholars have long struggled with questions about when and where the majority of these works originated. Now a researcher from North Carolina State University is using modern advances in genetics to develop techniques that will shed light on the origins of these important cultural artifacts.

Many medieval manuscripts were written on parchment made from animal skin, and NC State Assistant Professor of English Timothy Stinson is working to perfect techniques for extracting and analyzing the DNA contained in these skins with the long-term goal of creating a genetic database that can be used to determine when and where a manuscript was written. "Dating and localizing manuscripts have historically presented persistent problems," Stinson says, "because they have largely been based on the handwriting and dialect of the scribes who created the manuscripts techniques that have proven unreliable for a number of reasons."

Stinson says genetic testing could resolve these issues by creating a baseline using the DNA of parchment found in the relatively small number of manuscripts that can be reliably dated and localized. Each manuscript can provide a wealth of genetic data, Stinson explains, because a typical medieval parchment book includes the skins of more than 100 animals.

Once Stinson has created a baseline of DNA markers with known dates and localities, he can take samples from manuscripts of unknown origin. Stinson can then determine what degree of relationship there is between the animals whose skins were used in manuscripts of unknown origin and those used in the baseline manuscripts. Stinson hopes this DNA comparison will enable him to identify genetic similarities that would indicate the general time and locale where a book was written.

On a larger scale, Stinson says, this research "will also allow us to trace the trade route of parchments" throughout the medieval world a scholarly achievement that would provide a wealth of data on the evolution of the book industry during the Middle Ages.

Stinson will be presenting the findings of his early research in this area at the annual meeting of the Bibliographical Society of America in New York City on Jan. 23. Stinson is one of three researchers asked to participate in the society's New Scholars Program for 2009. The work that Stinson will be presenting was funded by grants from the Digital Research and Curation Center at Johns Hopkins University and the Council on Library and Information Resources.


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. VCU survey: US public supports genetic research, testing and government spending on research
2. M.I.N.D. Institute researchers call for fragile X testing throughout the lifespan
3. First results from hospital trials testing
4. Advance offers revolution in food safety testing
5. Taking a cue from breath fresheners, researcher develops new method for taste testing
6. American College of Medical Genetics makes genetic testing recommendations in new policy statement
7. Research identifies first method for testing, assessing drug treatments for Chagas disease
8. Texas A&M testing oral contraceptives for animals
9. NOAA invests $3 million for unmanned aircraft system testing
10. Genetic Alliance names Genetic Testing as its official journal
11. Should children be permitted to get genetic testing for BRCA 1/2 mutations?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2017)... 2, 2017  EyeLock LLC, a market leader of ... paper " What You Should Know About Biometrics in ... user authenticity is a growing concern. In traditional schemes, ... However, traditional authentication schemes such as username/password suffer from ... authentication offers an elegant solution to the problem of ...
(Date:2/1/2017)... IDTechEx Research, a leading provider of independent market research, ... a new report, Sensors for Robotics: Technologies, Markets and Forecasts ... ... Revenues ... "Sensors for Robotics: Technologies, Markets and Forecasts 2017-2027: Machine vision, force ...
(Date:1/30/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , Jan. 30, 2017   ... of the fastest growing genetic information companies, today announced ... 2016 financial results and provide 2017 guidance on Monday, ... a conference call that day at 4:45 p.m. Eastern ... call, Invitae,s management team will briefly review financial results, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... Biologic Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBPO) ("China Biologic" or the "Company"), ... announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal ... Highlights Total sales in the fourth ... increased by 13.6% in USD terms to $77.6 million from ... Gross profit increased by 13.3% to $46.8 million from ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Financial ... data, unaudited)Three Months Ended December 31,Twelve Months Ended December ... $           300$ ... Net Product Revenue 3539(10)%9498(4)%Kuvan Net ... Revenue  756025%297303(2)%Vimizim Net Product Revenue ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... -- In Atlanta, it seems everyone has a chance to express ... an expressive and dynamic community unlike any other. The businesses ... it. With their newest salon in ... carry on that tradition with a unique, fresh approach to ... is the newest of 13 nationwide locations, each of them ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Baltimore ... multiple immunoassay-based threat detection technologies by researchers from the Pacific National Northwest ... detection technology was found to have the best level of detection (LOD) ...
Breaking Biology Technology: