Red Ice News

The Future is the Past

A 700,000 year old horse gets its genome sequenced
New to Red Ice? Start Here!

A 700,000 year old horse gets its genome sequenced

Source: heritagedaily.com

It is nothing short of a world record in DNA research that scientists at the Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark (University of Copenhagen) have hit.

They have sequenced the so far oldest genome from a prehistoric creature. They have done so by sequencing and analyzing short pieces of DNA molecules preserved in bone-remnants from a horse that had been kept frozen for the last 700.000 years in the permafrost of Yukon, Canada. By tracking the genomic changes that transformed prehistoric wild horses into domestic breeds, the researchers have revealed the genetic make-up of modern horses with unprecedented details. The spectacular results are now published in the international scientific journal Nature.

DNA molecules can survive in fossils well after an organism dies. Not as whole chromosomes, but as short pieces that could be assembled back together, like a puzzle. Sometimes enough molecules survive so that the full genome sequence of extinct species could be resurrected and over the last years, the full genome sequence of a few ancient humans and archaic hominins has been characterized. But so far, none dated back to before 70,000 years.


Now Dr. Ludovic Orlando and Professor Eske Willerslev from the Centre for GeoGenetics have beaten this DNA-record by about 10 times. Thereby the two researchers – in collaboration with Danish and international colleagues – have been able to track major genomic changes over the last 700.000 years of evolution of the horse lineage.

First, by comparing the genome in the 700,000 year old horse with the genome of a 43,000 year old horse, six present day horses and the donkey the researchers could estimate how fast mutations accumulate through time and calibrate a genome-wide mutation rate. This revealed that the last common ancestor of all modern equids was living about 4.0-4.5 million years ago. Therefore, the evolutionary radiation underlying the origin of horses, donkeys and zebras reaches back in time twice as long as previously thought. Additionally, this new clock revealed multiple episodes of severe demographic fluctuation in horse history, in phase with major climatic changes such as the Last Glacial Maximum, some 20,000 years ago.

[...]

Read the full article at: heritagedaily.com

Comments

We're Hiring

We are looking for a professional video editor, animator and graphics expert that can join us full time to work on our video productions.

Apply

Help Out

Sign up for a membership to support Red Ice. If you want to help advance our efforts further, please:

Donate

Tips

Send us a news tip or a
Guest suggestion

Send Tip

Related News

White 20-year old Female College Student Shot in Head on New Year's Day by 5 or 6 Young Black Men - Where is the Media Outrage?
White 20-year old Female College Student Shot in Head on New Year's Day by 5 or 6 Young Black Men - Where is the Media Outrage?
Tech Entrepreneur Says Brain Microchip Implants Possible Within 15 Years
Tech Entrepreneur Says Brain Microchip Implants Possible Within 15 Years

Archives Pick

Red Ice T-Shirts

Red Ice Radio

3Fourteen

How Right Wing Is Japan Today?
Yoko Mada - How Right Wing Is Japan Today?
European Cooking & Philosophy
Elisabeth - European Cooking & Philosophy

TV

How Cult Leader Charles Manson Was Made
Jay Dyer - How Cult Leader Charles Manson Was Made
What’s Really Happening in Saudi Arabia?
Patrick Le Brun - What’s Really Happening in Saudi Arabia?

RSSYoutubeGoogle+iTunesSoundCloudStitcherTuneIn

Design by Henrik Palmgren © Red Ice Privacy Policy