Ancient bone DNA amplified

  title={Ancient bone DNA amplified},
  author={Erika Hagelberg and Bryan C Sykes and Robert E. M. Hedges},
Reports the successful extraction and amplification of DNA from human bones between 300 and 5500 years of age. Genetic information can be recovered from ancient skeletal material if contamination by modern DNA is avoided. Describes experimental technique and results on a range of bone samples. 

Isolation and characterization of DNA from archaeological bone

  • E. HagelbergJ. Clegg
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 1991
DNA was extracted from human and animal bones recovered from archaeological sites and mitochondrial DNA sequences were amplified from the extracts using the polymerase chain reaction to show that significant amounts of genetic information can survive for long periods in bone.


The use of ancient DNA has increased during the past two decades in several scientific disciplines. However, the underlying mechanism of DNA degradation in bone tissue are poorly understood. Here w

Analysis of ancient bone DNA: techniques and applications.

The results of a study on a small number of bones from a mediaeval and a 17th-century cemetery in Abingdon showing the relation between gross preservation, microscopic preservation and DNA recovery are presented.

Y-chromosome-specific DNA amplified in ancient human bone

This method allows one to identify the sex of skeletal remains on the DNA level through the enzyme-directed amplification of human Y-chromosome-specific sequences from ancient bone material.

Identification of the Skeletal Remains of Two 12-Years Old Bodies by Nuclear DNA Polymorphisms Analysis

The ability to analyse by PCR-based methods trace amounts of human DNA isolated from old bone material offers the opportunity to identify unknown skeletal remains by a comparative genetic analysis with their presumptive relatives.

Preparation of bone samples for DNA extraction: a nuts and bolts approach.

This work describes an aseptic method for grinding bone fragments, which is quick and cost-effective and uses common and easily acquired materials and should be possible to clean and sterilize a nut-and-bolt assembly for reuse with other samples.

The optimisation of protocols for the extraction of nuclear DNA from animal bone forPCR.

The general aims of this research were to find an effective method for extracting DNA from bone and to use this methodology to create Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA- Polymerase Chain Reaction

Identifying individuals by sequencing mitochondrial DNA from teeth

It is suggested that teeth provide an excellent source for high molecular weight mtDNA that can be valuable for extending the time in which decomposed human remains can be genetically identified.



Mitochondrial DNA sequences from a 7000-year old brain.

The sequences show that this ancient individual belonged to a mitochondrial lineage that is rare in the Old World and not previously known to exist among Native Americans, bringing to three the number of maternal lineages known to have been involved in the prehistoric colonization of the New World.

Molecular cloning of Ancient Egyptian mummy DNA

Analysis of 23 mummies investigated for DNA content show that substantial pieces of mummy DNA can be cloned and that the DNA fragments seem to contain little or no modifications introduced postmortem.

Avoiding false positives with PCR

The exquisite sensitivity of the polymerase chain reaction means DNA contamination can ruin an entire experiment. Tidiness and adherence to a strict set of protocols can avoid disaster.

DNA sequences from the quagga, an extinct member of the horse family

Dried muscle from a museum specimen of the quagga, a zebra-like species that became extinct in 1883, is examined, and DNA was extracted in amounts approaching 1% of that expected from fresh muscle, and that the DNA was of relatively low molecular weight.

Length mutations in human mitochondrial DNA: direct sequencing of enzymatically amplified DNA.

Phylogenetic analysis suggests that this deletion in region V occurred only once during the evolution of modern types of human mtDNA and that it will be a valuable anthropological marker for peoples of East Asian origin.

Conformational mutation in human mtDNA detected by direct sequencing of enzymatically amplified DNA

Restriction enzyme analysis of 241 human mtDNAs revealed polymorphism in the electrophoretic mobility of a fragment corresponding to part of the ND4 gene, demonstrating that a single T--C transition correlates with the faster mobility exhibited by the fragment in sevenmtDNAs from Papua New Guinea.

Primer-directed enzymatic amplification of DNA with a thermostable DNA polymerase.

A thermostable DNA polymerase was used in an in vitro DNA amplification procedure, the polymerase chain reaction, which significantly improves the specificity, yield, sensitivity, and length of products that can be amplified.

Sequence and organization of the human mitochondrial genome

The complete sequence of the 16,569-base pair human mitochondrial genome is presented and shows extreme economy in that the genes have none or only a few noncoding bases between them, and in many cases the termination codons are not coded in the DNA but are created post-transcriptionally by polyadenylation of the mRNAs.

Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual

The content has been entirely recast to include nucleic-acid based methods selected as the most widely used and valuable in molecular and cellular biology laboratories.