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Thread: DNA Retrieved from 1,000-Year-Old Vikings

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    DNA Retrieved from 1,000-Year-Old Vikings

    Strands of 1,000-year-old DNA from 10 Viking skeletons have been retrieved, a team of scientists claims.

    If true, the achievement would be notable, since many researchers say it is impossible to recover authentic DNA from ancient humans.

    Jorgen Dissing of the University of Copenhagen and colleagues say they retrieved the genetic material from the freshly sampled teeth of skeletons dating back to around A.D. 1000 and found at a non-Christian burial site called Galgedil on the Danish island of Funen.

    Wearing protective suits, the researchers removed the teeth from the jaw at the moment the skeletons were unearthed, where they had lain untouched for 1,000 years. Subsequent laboratory procedures were carefully controlled to avoid contamination with modern human DNA.

    In the past few years, several studies have shown that it is possible to recover authentic ancient human DNA if strict measures are taken to avoid contamination.

    "The present work provides further evidence that retrieval of authentic DNA from ancient humans is indeed a possible undertaking provided adequate precautions are observed," the authors wrote in this week's issue of the journal PLoS ONE. [MORE]

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    Well, they were able to tease out some DNA from the much older Cheddar Man as well as the Tarim mummies, Otzi, etc.......

    Anyways, good stuff.

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    What I don't get is the article states that it's hard to retrieve DNA from ancient humans 1,000 year ago. Yet, scientists have been able to extract the DNA from neanderthal remains which are much much older than Vikings.
    "Life; it kills 100% of those who experience it."

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