Ancient DNA sheds light on the prehistoric humans who colonized the Americas
Rewriting the prehistory of the Americas is perhaps the most remarkable discovery—but hardly the only one—so far achieved through the analysis of ancient DNA. Other new insights about the past are being drawn from the same emerging scientific discipline. In the past five years, the double helix has shed light, for example, on the vanished woolly mammoth, the flightless dodo, and even humanity's long-lost kin, the Neanderthals. Extracting and testing old DNA, once considered practically impossible because too little of the stuff survives the eons intact, are now at the cutting edge of archaeology, paleontology, and other fields, thanks to new techniques and more powerful technology.
comments powered by Disqus
- Judith Kelleher Schafer, 72, a historian of slavery and prostitution, dies
- Northwestern celebrates Garry Wills with a book in his honor
- Conservatives go after UCLA's historian James Gelvin
- Laura Hillenbrand writes her masterpieces despite suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- New PBS DVD From Henry Louis Gates Jr. Explores African Influence on the Caribbean