Hunting the Double Helix: How DNA is Solving Puzzles of the Past
In this book the author provides a fascinating glimpse into one of the newest and most intriguing areas of scientific research. Any DNA that still exists in the remains of living things after their death is called 'ancient DNA'. But the death doesn't have to be recent - the DNA could be from an organism that died a few days ago, or from an extinct species, such as the Australian thylacine or the New Zealand moa, or from an animal that died in the last Ice Age, such as the mammoth. The study of ancient DNA has been the key to some of the most amazing discoveries. There's a whole smorgasbord of stories to sample - tales of murder, deadly disease, and mysterious disappearances, and even the origins of human life. Could we re-create a mammoth or a thylacine? Could 'Jurassic Park' ever be a reality? Were the Neanderthals our ancestors? What caused the black death? What really happened to the Russian Royal Family? Did Anastasia survive the Russian revolution? Could the unnamed victims of the Titanic be returned to their families? Ancient DNA has been found in a wonderful range of sources, and has been used to answer these and other baffling questions.
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The DNA Detectives: How the Double Helix is Solving Puzzles of the Past
Limited preview - 2009
Alan Cooper amber America Anastasia ancient DNA research Anna Anderson became extinct began believed birds Black Death Cassiman caused cell chromosomes cloning colleagues Columbus debate died Dinornis dinosaur DNA discovery disease DNA analysis DNA sequences elephant epidemics Europe evidence evolution evolutionary extinct animals extinct species extract DNA fossilised fossils genes genetic Homo erectus huge human ancestors human DNA Ice Age influenza insects Jurassic Park Karl Wilhelm Naundorff kiwi known large number look Louis XVII Louis-Charles mammoth megafauna million years ago moa bones modern humans modern-day Molecular Museum mystery Naundorff Neanderthal DNA origins Paabo pandemic permafrost piece of DNA plague plant PNAS population possible preserved quagga ratite remains Romanov Russian royal family samples Science scientific scientists skeleton soon Stoneking stray DNA super-ancient DNA Tasmanian Tasmanian tiger Taubenberger theory thought thylacine tissue Tsar tuberculosis virus Wolpoff Yersinia pestis Yersinia pestis DNA Zealand
Page 4 - double helix', with two paired strands wound around each other. A strand consists of a string of four bases: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C).
Page 206 - Tracking the origins of the cave bear ( Ursus spelaeus) by mitochondrial DNA sequencing', PNAS, vol.
Page 207 - Ancient DNA analysis reveals divergence of the cave bear, Ursus spelaeus, and brown bear, Ursus arctos, lineages. Current Biology, 11, 200-3.
Page 115 - Ring a ring o'roses, A pocket full of posies, A-tishoo, a-tishoo, We all fall down.
Page 187 - XVII's name, although his claims had never been proven, nor his true origins ever established. Naundorff had never given up his insistence that he was Louis XVII, even to his own wife and children. On his headstone was placed an inscription which translates as: Here lies Louis XVII, Charles Louis, Due de Normandie, King of France and Navarre, Born at Versailles on March 27, 1785, Died at Delft on August 10, 1845.
Page 106 - ... more closely related to each other than to any other members of the genus.
Page 206 - FK et al. (1995) Selective amplification of a mammoth mitochondrial cytochrome b fragment using an elephant specific primer.
Page 51 - I think this is the most exciting biological project that's going to occur in this millennium.