It is the first time scientists have reconstructed an ancient genome without a reference sequence (de novo) due to the extraordinary preservation of the medieval pathogen’s DNA. This finding indicates that ancient bacterial DNA may survive in some cases much beyond the one million year boundary suggested for vertebrate DNA.
PORTSMOUTH, May 31 — The relics from the Mary Rose, the flagship of England’s navy when it sank in 1545 as a heartbroken king Henry VIII watched from the shore, have finally been reunited with the famous wreck in a new museum offering a view of life in Tudor times.
Analysis of DNA from ancient remains on the Greek island of Crete suggests the Minoans were indigenous Europeans, shedding new light on a debate over the provenance of this ancient culture.
Long ago, the plague ravaged Europe. People died by the millions as they succumbed to the sickness; bodies were loaded into mass graves as the survivors attempted to eke out a living. Now, researchers have examined ancient DNA from the remains of plague victims from the 6th century AD to learn a bit more about the phylogeny and the origin of the pandemic that hit the Byzantine Empire.
BERLIN — Europeans appear to be more closely related than previously thought.
Scientists who compared DNA samples from people in different parts of the continent found that most had common ancestors living just 1,000 years ago.
Huffington Post Blog from Spencer Wells-I recently turned 44. As with all of one’s birthdays, a milestone like this is a chance to gaze backward and assess, as well as an opportunity to look to the future and imagine possibilities. As I do this, though, I’m cognizant of a friend who is being celebrated for turning 60 this year. She’s been in my life since before I was born, and she will be around long after I’ve faded into distant memory. But, in the way that humans do when we describe a feature in the natural world, we’ve assigned to her a birthday based on when we first recognized how special she was. I’m talking, of course, about deoxyribonucleic acid — DNA, our blueprint, the hardware/software combination that keeps us on the straight and narrow, controlling our development as we grow from fertilized egg to adult, as well as our biological evolution as a species.
Windsor may have been popular with royalty rather earlier than generally thought.
Archaeologists, excavating near the Royal Borough, have discovered the 4400 year old gold-adorned skeleton of an upper class woman who was almost certainly a member of the local ruling elite.
DNA sequenced from nearly 40 ancient skeletons has shed light on the complex prehistoric events that shaped modern European populations.
The tale surrounding the discovery of King Richard III’s skeleton beneath an English parking lot is about much more than a pile of 528-year-old bones — all you have to do is look at the face of Philippa Langley as she breaks down during an archaeological autopsy.
“I don’t see bones on that table,” she says, during an emotional scene in a new documentary about the king’s remains. “I see the man.”
Polynesian DNA has unexpectedly been discovered in the bones of now-extinct Native Americans who once lived in the interior of Brazil. These surprising findings are raising a variety of suggested answers to how this occurred, including the travels of ancient seafarers or the more recent slave trade.