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DNA of prehistoric horse sequenced

Posted on Monday, 8 July, 2013 | Comment icon 6 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: sxc.hu

Scientists have managed to successfully read the DNA of a horse that lived 700,000 years ago.

In Jurassic Park, DNA retrieved from ancient insects trapped in amber was used to create modern-day dinosaurs, a concept that at the time of the movie seemed like a viable proposition. Since then scientists have emphasized that DNA deteriorates too quickly to be preserved for millions of years, rendering the idea of resurrecting dinosaurs firmly in the realms of science fiction.

All is not lost however as modern enhancements in DNA reading techniques have yielded some promising results. In recent years scientists have been able to map the genome of an 80,000-year-old Denisovan girl and now a team in Copenhagen have announced that they've been able to obtain the entire genetic sequence of an ancient horse species that lived 700,000 years ago.

If this technology continues to advance then it may be possible to read DNA dating back millions of years, meaning that a real-life Jurassic Park might not be quite so far outside the realms of possibility after all.

"The recovery of a genome almost an order of magnitude older than any previous genomic information opens up a wide range of new targets for studying fossils at the genetic level, possibly including ancient human species, if they lived in cooler environments."

  View: Full article |  Source: National Geographic

  Discuss: View comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Lava_Lady on 8 July, 2013, 23:16
Why does this article creep me out? lol... maybe that whole using DNA from an animal that is 4 to 5 million years old to keep the lineage of a modern animal alive thing. What if the ancient horse was a carnivore? Or worse yet, a vampire!! lol!
Comment icon #2 Posted by sam_comm on 8 July, 2013, 23:36
Well, the 700,000 years old DNA of a horse is perhaps those of the lost Unicorns!
Comment icon #3 Posted by DecoNoir on 9 July, 2013, 0:09
There's a My Little Pony joke in here, but I can't seem to find it
Comment icon #4 Posted by Harte on 9 July, 2013, 4:49
The optimist's child and the pessimist's child comes to mind. "There has to be a pony here somewhere!" Harte
Comment icon #5 Posted by marcos anthony toledo on 9 July, 2013, 13:31
Now if only they can clone this over 700,000 year old horse to bring it back to life.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Harte on 9 July, 2013, 20:06
Maybe they'll give us free rides with cotton candy purchase. Harte

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