Category Archives: Ancient DNA

New DNA Analysis Shows Aboriginal Australians Are the World’s Oldest Society

aboriginal-kangaSmithsonian- For centuries, Aboriginal Australians have said they belonged to the oldest sustained civilization on the face of the Earth, citing their culture and history of oral storytelling that stretches back tens of thousands of years. Now, one of the most extensive analyses of Indigenous Australian DNA to date suggests that they’ve been right all along.

Human Skeleton Found on Famed Antikythera Shipwreck

underwaterHannes Schroeder snaps on two pairs of blue latex gloves, then wipes his hands with a solution of bleach. In front of him is a large Tupperware box full of plastic bags that each contain sea water and a piece of red-stained bone. He lifts one out and inspects its contents as several archaeologists hover behind, waiting for his verdict. They’re hoping he can pull off a feat never attempted before—DNA analysis on someone who has been under the sea for 2,000 years.

Someone stole thousands of vials containing the DNA of Italians with very long lifespans

dna-collection3Thousands of vials containing the DNA of Italians with very long lifespans have gone missing.
This DNA was collected years ago as part of widespread research interest in the island of Sardinia, whose residents are some of the world’s longest living people. On average, 21 out of every 10,000 residents in one area of Sardinia live to age 100. In comparison, only four out of 10,000 Americans get to celebrate that birthday.

DNA confirms cause of 1665 London’s Great Plague

plagueIt wiped out nearly a quarter of London’s population and was one of the triggers for the scientific renaissance that swept England in the 17th Century.
Now the bacteria that caused the Great Plague of London between 1665 and 1666 has been definitively identified as the bug that causes bubonic plague – Yersinia pestis.
Archaeologists used DNA testing on skeletons found in a mass grave in a churchyard uncovered during the construction of the new Crossrail Elizabeth that will run through the city’s Liverpool Street Station.

Harvard University experts analyze DNA of Peru’s ancient female ruler

CaoLima, Aug. 26. Archaeologist Regulo Franco Jordan announced that Harvard University experts have started to analyze the DNA of Lady of Cao, the first female ruler of pre-Columbian Peru.

DNA traces origins of Iceman’s ragtag wardrobe

Otzi's duds…When Oetzi was discovered in 1991, famously well preserved in the ice of the Italian Alps, this type of ancient DNA analysis was impossible.
“25 years ago, the study of ancient DNA was in its infancy,” Mr O’Sullivan told BBC News. “It would not have been possible to infer, to the same extent, the species of origin or how domesticated the leathers were…”

Richard III’s missing teeth in skull may prove he DIDN’T kill Tower of London princes

lost BoysInnocent: New evidence blows a major hole in the story of Richard III and the princes in the Tower
It is one of the most dramatic and controversial tales in British history – how two young princes were murdered by their dastardly uncle so he could claim the throne for himself.

Blood of King Albert I identified after 80 years

Tree Leaves RelicThe death of King Albert I of Belgium in 1934 — officially a climbing accident — still fuels speculation. Forensic geneticist Maarten Larmuseau and his colleagues at KU Leuven (University of Leuven, Belgium), have now compared DNA from blood found on the scene in 1934 to that of two distant relatives. Their analysis confirms that the blood really is that of Albert I. This conclusion is at odds with several conspiracy theories about the king’s death.

First farmers had diverse origins, DNA shows

Zagros MountainsResearchers compared the genomes of ancient Neolithic skeletons from across the Middle East, where farming began.
The results shed light on a debate over whether farming spread out from a single source in the region, or whether multiple farmer groups spread their technology across Eurasia.

Russian scientists dissect ancient organs from 800-year-old mummy

SalekhardThe child, aged around six or seven, was found close to the town of Salekhard. Researchers took samples of tissue and probed the boy’s internal organs.
It is hoped these will reveal how people lived at the time, possibly their diet. Experts have started establishing the boy’s DNA and hunting for descendants

Today’s technology to uncover yesterday’s secrets at an early settler’s burial ground at Milton

Milton Burial GroundThe group, the Tokomairiro Project 60 research team, is undergoing a public submission process to enable the digging-up of 20-30 skeletons from St John’s Burial Ground, amid farmland on Milton’s Back Rd.

Humanity plagued by single strain of bacteria

Yersinia PestisHistorians and scientists alike have long wondered whether the various disease pandemics that have plagued humanity since the sixth century shared a common cause.
Ancient DNA samples and historical climate patterns all pointed to the theory that a single, super-resilient germ managed to survive through the ages. But the final genetic piece in the puzzle was missing – until now.

New DNA study confirms ancient Aborigines were the First Australians

mungo_man_crop_1920The question of whether Aboriginal People were the First Australians may be unanimously accepted today but research published back in 2001 suggested the contrary.
A
new study out this week shows how we re-examined the research and our results put an end to that controversy.

DNA database: Scientists want a piece of you to help solve a mystery or two

Centre for Ancient DNAAustralians have been called upon to donate their DNA and help establish the country’s first historical DNA database, providing researchers with a crucial tool for solving wartime mysteries – some which date back 100 years.
To be managed by the Centre for Ancient DNA at Adelaide University, the database will provide scientists and historians with a snapshot of the genetic makeup of the Australian population in the early 1900s. Currently, nothing like it exists.

First DNA from ancient Phoenician shows Europe ancestry

Sabratha amphitheaterMIAMI: The first DNA analysis of 2,500-year-old remains from one of the great early civilizations of the Middle East, the Phoenicians, has shown the man had European heritage, researchers said Wednesday.
The mitochondrial DNA — or genetic information from his mother’s side — came from a man known as “Young Man of Byrsa” or “Ariche,” whose remains were uncovered in the Tunisian city of Carthage.