Tag Archives: ancient DNA

Genomic signatures of ancient rendezvous and separation in elephant evolution

Evidence from various levels of the tree of life is showing that we’ve been picturing ancient encounters between related species all wrong and admixture events are probably more common than expected. Even rendezvous among primates, caniforms, and majestic proboscideans often … Continue reading

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Posted in conservation, evolution, genomics, hybridization, natural history, Paleogenomics, phylogeography | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(Un)usual sources of ancient DNA

Working with ancient DNA can be quite painful at times, but hard work pays off (or so they say) and scientists are starting to reap great benefits from their effort by exploring more and more things to extract DNA from.

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Posted in evolution, genomics, methods, Paleogenomics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Hype Cycle of Ancient DNA

Recently I saw a graph that I’ve learnt is called the Hype Cycle and is a methodology used in assessment of new technologies and their marketing. What strikes me about it is how well it fits my own research field, … Continue reading

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Posted in evolution, natural history, Paleogenomics, phylogenetics, population genetics, theory | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Mitogenomes from extinct New Zealand wrens shed light on the oldest songbird lineage

The order Passeriformes, commonly known as “perching birds” or “songbirds,” contains over half of all known avian species. Sister to all other Passeriformes are the acanthisittid wrens, a small and enigmatic family of New Zealand endemics. Though their providential phylogenetic … Continue reading

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Posted in genomics, next generation sequencing, Paleogenomics, phylogenetics | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ice-Age Euro-trips

Recent works that attempt to get at human migrations inside Europe paint a complex portrait of migratory events, admixture with archaic hominids, and adaptive evolution to new geographies, and a changing global climate. Analyzing whole genomes of 51 ancient humans … Continue reading

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Posted in adaptation, evolution, genomics, natural history, Paleogenomics, population genetics, selection | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Clone a Mammoth: When science fiction becomes reality

When I explain that I study the woolly mammoth, sooner or later (and usually right away) comes the question, “Are you going to clone a mammoth?” From childish excitement to real scientific interest, the idea of cloning a mammoth raises … Continue reading

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Posted in book review, Paleogenomics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Petrous bone is the new black

I was just reading an article about skeletal reconstruction of another fascinating extinct species when my supervisor came to my office. I asked: “How about we sequence this creature’s genome?” He replied by asking where the animal had lived. As … Continue reading

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Posted in genomics, methods, Paleogenomics | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Single dispersal of modern humans to Eurasia

In a typical ancient DNA study where the number of authors exceeds the number of specimens (actually, equals this time), Cosimo Posth and colleagues sequenced 35 pre-Neolithic modern humans from Europe. By sequencing 35 mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genomes, Posth et … Continue reading

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Posted in evolution, genomics, natural history, Paleogenomics, population genetics | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

A mammoth bottleneck prior to extinction

Here’s to back-to-back posts on extinct mammalian genomes! Woolly mammoth genomes are all the rage. How do I know? Just check out the new book, pre-print, and paper that were recently published.

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Posted in conservation, genomics, next generation sequencing, Paleogenomics, population genetics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

sedaDNA sleuths: embracing your inner Sherlock

Awhile back fellow TME contributor Rob Denton posted about a recent review on environmental DNA by Pedersen et al. (2015). Environmental DNA (eDNA) is obtained from samples such as sediments, ice or water and can provide scientific sleuths with tantalizing clues about past … Continue reading

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Posted in bioinformatics, domestication, genomics, natural history, next generation sequencing, Paleogenomics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment