Navigation Links
Ancient fossil DNA found preserved in crystal

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. Steve Weiner and Michal Salamon of the Institute's Structural Biology Department, working in collaboration with Profs. Baruch Arensburg, Tel Aviv University, and Noreen Tuross, Harvard University, may have found a way to overcome these problems.

It was in 1986 that Weiner first reported the existence of crystal clusters in fresh bones. Even when these bones are ground up and treated with sodium hypochlorite ?a substance that removes all traces of organic matter ?the clusters of crystals remain intact and the organic material embedded in them is unaffected. Now, almost 20 years later, Weiner and Salamon have returned to these findings, reasoning that fossil bones might possess such crystal structures containing preserved ancient DNA.

After treating two modern and six fossil animal bones with the sodium hypo-chlorite, they found that DNA could be extracted from most of these crystal aggregates that is better preserved and contains longer fragments than DNA from untreated ground bone. The technique for reading the DNA worked better, as well, and the use of sodium hypochlorite reduces the possibility of modern contamination.

The crystal aggregates act as a "privileged niche in fossil bone," protecting the DNA from hostile environments and leaving it relatively undamaged over time. The team's findings suggest that the DNA in these aggregates should be preferred, whenever possible, over DNA from untreated bone.

This method holds much promise fo r the future analysis of ancient DNA in bones in yielding more reliable and authentic results than has previously been possible, and may help in unearthing the mysteries of our ancestral past.


'"/>

Source:American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science


Related biology news :

1. Ancient olfaction protein is shared by many bugs, offering new pest control target
2. Ancient immune defense mechanism is no match for HIV-1
3. Ancient DNA helps clarify the origins of two extinct New World horse species
4. Researchers Discover Ancient Origins Of Tuberculosis-causing Bacteria
5. Ancient DNA confirms single origin of Malagasy primates
6. Ancient anthropoid origins discovered in Africa
7. Ancient trans-Atlantic swarm brought locusts to the New World
8. Ancient humans brought bottle gourds to the Americas from Asia
9. Ancient DNA helps UF researchers unearth potential hemophilia therapy
10. Ancient DNA provides clues to the evolution of social behavior
11. Ancient ants arose 140-168 million years ago
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services ... Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage ... Model sm . In addition, CHS previously earned ... hospitals using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... high level of EMR usage in an outpatient ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017   Neurotechnology , a provider of ... announced the release of the SentiVeillance 6.0 ... facial recognition using up to 10 surveillance, security ... The new version uses deep neural-network-based facial detection ... utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit (GPU) for enhanced ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG solutions "Made in Germany "  ... ... multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity fraud. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... source of human cardiovascular cells for research and the development of cardiac ... possible to generate large numbers of cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs). Due to varying differentiation ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Vortex Biosciences , provider of circulating tumor cell ... tumor cells using Vortex microfluidic technology ” in Nature Precision Oncology on May 8th. ... Di Carlo and Dr. Matthew Rettig at the University of California, Los Angeles. The ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Cambridge Semantics , the leading provider of Big Data ... Conference and Expo in Boston May 23-25 with a featured speaker and solution ... Data Lake is also a finalist for the Best of Show award. , James ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... it is exhibiting in booth B2 at the Association for Pathology Informatics ... , In addition to demonstrating its Cancer Diagnostic Cockpit and Consultation Portal, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: