"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

History: Crystal Clear 

Extracting useful DNA samples from fossils has so far proved almost impossible - degradation, contamination, and other challenges impede this important part of biological research. Examining the DNA of, say, prehistoric humans and hominids and other ancient animals would shed great light on how we humans (and other animals) evolved, and when it happened.

In a new issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers say they may have found a solution: DNA enclosed in crystalline bone matrix fossils. It's a long way from Jurassic Park, which hopefully no one will actually decide might be a good idea (I'm looking at you, Heber C. Jentzsch), but it has great potential for better understanding not only on evolution of modern species, but also perhaps on why many failed to survive.

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