Monday, May 1, 2017
Our DNA is Everywhere
Researchers have found a new way to study early human species without looking for fossils. By searching in places early human species such as Neanderthals and Denisovans resided, soil samples can be taken from sediments in those places and their DNA can actually be found there. DNA can be found from many different organisms in almost any soil or water sample. Specifically for this study, researchers searched in sediments from cool caves and in permafrost. These two locations help the DNA stay in tact longer, so there is a good chance that in tact DNA will be found there. These researchers did in fact find DNA in the soil samples they collect and are positive the samples are from Neanderthals or Denisovans. The DNA they collected had the same characteristics as the known characteristics of DNA from Neanderthals and Denisovans. This new technique can helps us get a better understanding of how, when, and where our ancestors migrated.