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Ancient Sediments might Provide a Blueprint for Human Origin

“The retrieval of ancient human and faunal DNA from sediments offers exciting new opportunities to investigate the geographical and temporal distribution of ancient humans and other organisms at sites where their skeletal remains are rare or absent”, says Matthias Meyer, senior writer of the research and researcher on the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig.

Significance of Ancient Sediments

The group utilized geological methods to check DNA preservation in sediment and reconstruct the formation of sediment and websites.

This helped them to efficiently extract the DNA from a set of blocks of sediment (ready so long as 40 years in the past) from websites in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.

“It clearly shows that the high success rate of ancient mammalian DNA retrieval from Denisova Cave sediments comes from the abundance of micro remains in the sediment matrix rather than from free extracellular DNA from feces, bodily fluids, or decomposing cellular tissue potentially adsorbed onto mineral grains. This study is a big step closer to understand precisely where and under what conditions ancient DNA is preserved in sediments”, says Vera Aldeias, co-author of the research and researcher on the University of Algarve in Portugal.

Source: Medindia

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