This is the landmark discovery of 2023, of prehistoric DNA isolated from a piece of jewelry made 20,000 years ago. Discovered in the famous cave of Denisova in Siberia, the pendant made from elk tooth was analyzed using detailed and non-destructive methods. A first in paleogenetics.
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By finding a DNADNA Prehistoric on a tooth pendant ElkElk, an international research team led by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has taken a giant step forward in studying our ancestors. Teeth used as jewelry, for example, are an excellent support in efforts to recover precious DNA. In fact, the jewelry can’t be worn directly on the skin, but its porous material is perfect for trapping 20,000-year-old bodily fluids. A finding from an article published in the journal Review Nature.
A thorough excavation
Like the forensic system, the ContaminationContamination An environment or object is too fast without precautions. To try their experiment, the scientists chose a collection of excavated materials to control contamination, while wearing gloves and masks to minimize the risk. By choosing jewelry that comes in contact with the skin, the probability of it capturing sweat is high. The researchers took this precaution in advance of their experiments.
Isolate so as not to destroy
A major fear in extracting important data from archaeological materials is the destruction of said materials. Therefore, scientists have explored non-destructive methods. By immersing the drilled elk tooth in a temperature-controlled phosphate solution, they were able to control the release of DNA trapped in the artifact without destroying it. If contamination during excavation is minimal, this is an important and encouraging step for future studies. For example the more complex DNA extraction from stone tools.
A prehistoric woman
The first results of this DNA date back to 19,000 to 25,000 years ago. The pendant is said to have been made and/or worn by a woman GeneticsGenetics Contemporary people currently living in the east of Siberia are approx. Connecting such an elderly person with an object of his daily life is an important development. If this method can be reproduced on a variety of everyday objects of prehistoric men and women, it will make possible more concrete elements in the gender distribution of tasks (with caution), but also in the use of age and gender. Some of the items found during the excavations.
Along with such advances, the study of ancient populations promises great advances and discoveries in times when explanations are plentiful and sometimes dependent.