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Genetic analyses from ancient DNA.
The precautions and criteria necessary to ascertain to the greatest extent possible that results represent authentic ancient DNA sequences are discussed, which highlight some significant results and areas of promising future research.
Ancient DNA: Do It Right or Not at All
At the recent 5th International Ancient DNA Conference in Manchester, U.K., one presentation boldly opened with the claim that the field was now mature and could move ahead with a clear path towards deciphering diet and disease from DNA.
Antibiotic resistance is ancient
Target metagenomic analyses of rigorously authenticated ancient DNA from 30,000-year-old Beringian permafrost sediments are reported and show conclusively that antibiotic resistance is a natural phenomenon that predates the modern selective pressure of clinical antibiotic use.
A draft genome of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death
A reconstructed ancient genome of Yersinia pestis is reported at 30-fold average coverage from Black Death victims securely dated to episodes of pestilence-associated mortality in London, England, 1348–1350, suggesting that contemporary Y. pestis epidemics have their origins in the medieval era.
Molecular coproscopy: dung and diet of the extinct ground sloth Nothrotheriops shastensis.
DNA from excrements can be amplified by means of the polymerase chain reaction. However, this has not been possible with ancient feces. Cross-links between reducing sugars and amino groups were shown…
Amino Acid Racemization and the Preservation of Ancient DNA
In samples in which the D/L ratio of aspartic acid exceeds 0.08, ancient DNA sequences could not be retrieved and Paleontological finds from which DNA sequences purportedly millions of years old show extensive racemization, and the amino acids present are mainly contaminates.
Metagenomics to Paleogenomics: Large-Scale Sequencing of Mammoth DNA
The high percentage of endogenous DNA recoverable from this single mammoth would allow for completion of its genome, unleashing the field of paleogenomics.
Yersinia pestis and the plague of Justinian 541-543 AD: a genomic analysis.
Out of America: Ancient DNA Evidence for a New World Origin of Late Quaternary Woolly Mammoths