Michael Bunce

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Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) sequences that pre-date the recognition of AIDS are critical to defining the time of origin and the timescale of virus evolution. A viral sequence from 1959 (ZR59) is the oldest known HIV-1 infection. Other historically documented sequences, important calibration points to convert evolutionary distance into time,(More)
To better determine the history of modern birds, we performed a genome-scale phylogenetic analysis of 48 species representing all orders of Neoaves using phylogenomic methods created to handle genome-scale data. We recovered a highly resolved tree that confirms previously controversial sister or close relationships. We identified the first divergence in(More)
We present an Aboriginal Australian genomic sequence obtained from a 100-year-old lock of hair donated by an Aboriginal man from southern Western Australia in the early 20th century. We detect no evidence of European admixture and estimate contamination levels to be below 0.5%. We show that Aboriginal Australians are descendants of an early human dispersal(More)
We report here the genome sequence of an ancient human. Obtained from approximately 4,000-year-old permafrost-preserved hair, the genome represents a male individual from the first known culture to settle in Greenland. Sequenced to an average depth of 20x, we recover 79% of the diploid genome, an amount close to the practical limit of current sequencing(More)
Genetic analyses of permafrost and temperate sediments reveal that plant and animal DNA may be preserved for long periods, even in the absence of obvious macrofossils. In Siberia, five permafrost cores ranging from 400,000 to 10,000 years old contained at least 19 different plant taxa, including the oldest authenticated ancient DNA sequences known, and(More)
Museums and pathology collections around the world represent an archive of genetic material to study populations and diseases. For preservation purposes, a large portion of these collections has been fixed in formalin-containing solutions, a treatment that results in cross-linking of biomolecules. Cross-linking not only complicates isolation of nucleic acid(More)
The ratite moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) were a speciose group of massive graviportal avian herbivores that dominated the New Zealand (NZ) ecosystem until their extinction approximately 600 years ago. The phylogeny and evolutionary history of this morphologically diverse order has remained controversial since their initial description in 1839. We synthesize(More)
Recent claims of cultivable ancient bacteria within sealed environments highlight our limited understanding of the mechanisms behind long-term cell survival. It remains unclear how dormancy, a favored explanation for extended cellular persistence, can cope with spontaneous genomic decay over geological timescales. There has been no direct evidence in(More)
Claims of extreme survival of DNA have emphasized the need for reliable models of DNA degradation through time. By analysing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from 158 radiocarbon-dated bones of the extinct New Zealand moa, we confirm empirically a long-hypothesized exponential decay relationship. The average DNA half-life within this geographically constrained(More)
The giant deer, or 'Irish elk', has featured extensively in debates on adaptation, sexual selection, and extinction. Its huge antlers--the largest of any deer species, living or extinct--formed a focus of much past work. Yet the phylogenetic position of the giant deer has remained an enigma. On the basis of its flattened antlers, the species was previously(More)