Category Archives: Ancient DNA

DNA yields secrets of human pioneer

Universal ManUniversal human: This reconstruction is of a different modern human from Romania 43,000 years ago. But it gives some clues to what the Siberian man may have looked like. This population was not long out of Africa and genetically midway between Europeans and Asians.

A Century Later, Relics Emerge From a War Frozen in Time

Italian CannonNational Geographic- The first cold war was fought during the First World War.
Italian and Austro-Hungarian troops clashed at altitudes up to 12,000 feet (3,600 meters) with temperatures as low as -22°F (-30°C) in the Guerra Bianca, or White War, named for its wintry theater. Never before had battles been waged on such towering peaks or in such frigid conditions.
Now, a century later, the warming world is revealing the buried past, as relics and corpses are melting free of their icy tombs.

How ancient DNA is rewriting human history

Human skullThere are no written records of the most important developments in our history: the transition from hunting and gathering to farming, the initial colonization of regions outside Africa, and, most crucially, the appearance of modern humans and the vanishing of archaic ones. Our primary information sources about these “pre-historic” events are ancient tools, weapons, bones, and, more recently, DNA. Like an ancient text that has picked up interpolations over the millennia, our genetic history can be difficult to recover from the DNA of people alive today. But with the invention of methods to read DNA taken from ancient bones, we now have access to much older copies of our genetic history, and it’s radically changing how we understand our deep past. What seemed like an episode of Lost turns out to be much more like Game of Thrones: instead of a story of small, isolated groups that colonized distant new territory, human history is a story of ancient populations that migrated and mixed all over the world.

Ancient Oregon caves hold more clues to early human DNA in the Americas

Altamira CavesPORTLAND, Oct 4 — A network of caves in rural Oregon may be the oldest site of human habitation in the Americas, suggesting an ancient human population reached what is now the United States at the end of the last Ice Age, Oregon officials said yesterday.

Discovered 2.3 k-yr-old human skeleton throws light on our ancestry

archeologistWashington, Sept 30 (ANI): A new research has revealed about the discovery of a 2,330-year-old human skeleton in the southernmost tip of Africa, throwing some light on human origins.

European Ancestors Hailed from Three Different Groups

european-skullThe modern European gene pool is likely a bit confused now, with international travel spreading people far and wide. However, in the case of native Europeans whose family never left the continent, it has been found that they likely boast a cocktail of genetic information from three distinct “tribes” of ancestors.

Ancient DNA Sheds New Light on Arctic’s Earliest People

Inuit IndiansThe earliest people in the North American Arctic remained isolated from later arrivals to the region for millennia before vanishing more than 700 years ago, a new genetic analysis shows. The study, published online Thursday, also reveals that today’s Inuit and Native Americans of the Arctic are genetically distinct from the region’s first settlers.

The Kennewick Man Finally Freed to Share His Secrets

kennewick manHe’s the most important human skeleton ever found in North America—and here, for the first time, is his story

The Coldest of the Cold Cases: Using DNA to Identify Century-Old Remains

DNA_TestingIn a dusty, seemingly empty field 60 miles east of L.A., Dr. Alexis Gray, a forensic anthropologist from the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department, points to a chain-link fence far in the distance, the mountains rising beyond in the hazy heat. “There are 7,000 people between us and that next fence there,” she says. For almost a decade, her job has been to confirm the identification of every single one of them.

Ancient Mummies Prove Heart Disease Is as Old as We Are

OtziHeart disease is thought to be a modern-day ailment, but it turns out that the arteries of ancient men and women weren’t in great shape either. Researchers have found evidence of atherosclerosis in a number of ancient mummies from around the world. Atherosclerosis is hardening of the arteries that lead to the heart caused by a buildup of plaque.

King Richard 3D image on display

King Richard 3DA replica of the skeleton of King Richard III (shown), created using 3D printing, has gone on display in a new visitor’s centre on the site where his remains were discovered in Leicester. The centre, opening on 26 July, tells the story of his rise to power, his death in battle and the discovery of his bones

Natural Trap Cave reopened to scientists

Natural-Trap-Cave-reopened-to-scientistsCHEYENNE, Wyo., July 24 (UPI) –The entrance of Wyoming’s Natural Trap Cave is just 15 feet long and 12 feet wide, big enough to let in sunlight and a few scientists. But as visitors quickly find out, that bit of sunlight illuminates an expansive cavern beneath — 85 feet deep and 120 feet wide.

Ancient finds from Crossrail scheme

The finds are at the site of London’s 14th century Black Death burial ground in Charterhouse Square in the City of London.Crossrail project
The courtyard is believed to have led to a 15th century chapel or meat kitchen and has been unearthed by more than 90 local volunteers working alongside archaeologists.

Wyoming cave with thousands of fossils to be re-opened to scientists for first time since 1970s

Natural Trap CaveCHEYENNE, Wyo. – For the first time in more than 30 years, paleontologists are about to revisit one of North America’s most remarkable troves of late Pleistocene fossils: The bones of tens of thousands of animals piled at least 30 feet deep at the bottom of a sinkhole-type cave.

Oetzi The Tyrolean Iceman’s ‘Non-Human’ DNA

OetziMuch of what we know about Öetzi – the ‘Tyrolean Iceman’ – such as what he looked like and that he suffered from lactose intolerance, stems from a tiny bone sample which allowed the decoding of his genetic make-up.
A team of scientists have examined the part of the sample consisting of non-human DNA. In the DNA mixture, they detected a sizeable presence of a particular bacterium: Treponema denticola, an opportunistic pathogen involved in the development of periodontitis. The finding supports the computer tomography based diagnosis that the Iceman suffered from periodontitis.