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700,000-Year-Old Horse Found in Yukon Permafrost Yields Oldest DNA Ever Decoded
Western Digs ^ | 11-22-13 | Blake de Pastino

Posted on 11/23/2013 12:58:13 PM PST by Dysart

The frozen remains of a horse more than half a million years old have reluctantly given up their genetic secrets, providing scientists with the oldest DNA ever sequenced.

The horse was discovered in 2003 in the ancient permafrost of Canada’s west-central Yukon Territory, not far from the Alaskan border.

And although the animal was dated to between 560,000 and 780,000 years old, an international team of researchers was able to use a new combination of techniques to decipher its genetic code.

Among the team’s findings is that the genus Equus — which includes all horses, donkeys, and zebras — dates back more than 4 million years, twice as long ago as scientists had previously believed.

“When we started the project, everyone — including us, to be honest — thought it was impossible,” said Dr. Ludovic Orlando of the University of Copenhagen, who coordinated the research, in a statement to Western Digs.

“And it was to some extent, with the methods available by then. So it’s clearly methodological advances that made this possible.”

Orlando and his colleagues published their findings this summer in the journal Nature; he discussed them today in a lecture at The Royal Society, London.

Previous to this, the oldest genome ever sequenced was of a 120,000-year-old polar bear — no small feat consider that the half-life of a DNA molecule is estimated to be about 521 years. By this reckoning, even under the best conditions, DNA could remain intact for no more than 6.8 million years...

The fact that the remains were frozen helped slow the rate of decay. But they also “targeted specific DNA preservation niches,” he said, like the protein called collagen found in the animal’s bones...

(Excerpt) Read more at westerndigs.org ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: animalhusbandry; canada; dna; equus; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; horse; yukon
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To: Kickass Conservative

LOL


21 posted on 11/23/2013 2:31:32 PM PST by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS.. We are DOOMED for several generations. . Who cares? Dem's did and voted!)
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To: Larry Lucido
Of course, of course.

He'll give you the answer that you endorse.

22 posted on 11/23/2013 2:37:53 PM PST by GreenHornet
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To: Ronaldus Magnus

Uh, no fair piggy backing on my earlier comment. I brought up ice ages first. I’m telling the teacher....


23 posted on 11/23/2013 2:38:49 PM PST by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS.. We are DOOMED for several generations. . Who cares? Dem's did and voted!)
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To: reed13k
Wait I thought horses weren’t indigineous to the American continents and that they came over with the “invading European hordes”??? Or is this just a different “prehistoric” subspecies?

Horses actually evolved in the Western Hemisphere but became extinct here about 12,000 years ago - probably the result of that big "climate change" called the Ice Age. But they survived in Asia and elsewhere in the East. They were re-introduced to the Americas by your "invading European hordes."

This article confuses me though. I did some research on the fossil horse Eohippus shoshonensis gidley, sometimes called the American zebra. It was about the same size as a modern Arabian horse. In fact I knew the man who discovered it in the Hagerman (Idaho) fossil beds. Most sources say those fossils date back 3 1/2 million years. This article says the new discovery dates Equus back as much as 4 million years, "twice as long as they previously believed." Huh? It doesn't compute.

24 posted on 11/23/2013 2:39:06 PM PST by Bernard Marx
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To: Bernard Marx

They must be talking about equus, the modern horse. Ancestors go back some 50 million years as you note. The modern horse isn’t found in rock older than the Pleistocene. At least it hasn’t been found in older rock, yet.


25 posted on 11/23/2013 3:03:33 PM PST by JimSEA
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To: Dysart

26 posted on 11/23/2013 3:30:08 PM PST by mountn man (The Pleasure You Get From Life Is Equal To The Attitude You Put Into It)
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To: Larry Lucido

Hello, wilbur


27 posted on 11/23/2013 3:32:00 PM PST by spudville
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To: mountn man
the one on the left is much smarter/more handsome than other pictured..

28 posted on 11/23/2013 3:42:32 PM PST by skinkinthegrass (The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun..0'Caligula / 0'Reid / 0'Pelosi 8-)
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To: JimSEA

Yes, I checked the article and they specifically reference Equus. Still, 500,000 years isn’t 2 million.


29 posted on 11/23/2013 4:02:54 PM PST by Bernard Marx
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To: Gaffer
"Geez....can I get a Raptor? There’s a place at which I’d like to “set it free.”

You can on Japanese TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmxQSwwTRqU

30 posted on 11/23/2013 4:12:54 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: Larry Lucido

Of course, of course.

But Who ever heard of a morsing horse?


31 posted on 11/23/2013 4:20:11 PM PST by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: Pharmboy; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

Thanks Pharmboy.
Among the team’s findings is that the genus Equus -- which includes all horses, donkeys, and zebras -- dates back more than 4 million years, twice as long ago as scientists had previously believed.
I think there was a topic about this sometime in the past year, but let's regard this as an update if that's the case.

32 posted on 11/23/2013 4:33:05 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: Bernard Marx

A mine I worked at in NV had a lot of horse and camel fossils found during a permitting survey. It was fascinating.


33 posted on 11/23/2013 4:33:07 PM PST by JimSEA
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To: Dysart

Wilburrrrrr!


34 posted on 11/23/2013 6:14:23 PM PST by Flick Lives (The U.S. is dead to me.)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Really funny. Thanks!


35 posted on 11/23/2013 6:49:09 PM PST by Gaffer
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To: reed13k
Wait I thought horses weren’t indigineous to the American continents and that they came over with the “invading European hordes”??? Or is this just a different “prehistoric” subspecies?

Actually horses were common in North America at one time but they became extinct, possibly killed off for food or maybe the ice ages took care of them. Later, of course, horses were re-introduced to America by the Europeans.

36 posted on 11/24/2013 12:53:09 AM PST by calex59
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To: Dysart
The Surprising History of America's Wild Horses

Modern horses, zebras, and asses belong to the genus Equus, the only surviving genus in a once diverse family, the Equidae. Based on fossil records, the genus appears to have originated in North America about 4 million years ago and spread to Eurasia (presumably by crossing the Bering land bridge) 2 to 3 million years ago. Following that original emigration, there were additional westward migrations to Asia and return migrations back to North America, as well as several extinctions of Equus species in North America.

The last prehistoric North American horses died out between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago, at the end of the Pleistocene, but by then Equus had spread to Asia, Europe, and Africa.

(snip)

37 posted on 11/24/2013 9:12:54 AM PST by blam
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To: blam

Thanks. The article goes on to make a solid case that our Western wild horses should be considered native, not feral. Of course that has broad wildlife management policy implications.


38 posted on 11/24/2013 9:50:59 AM PST by Dysart (Obamacare: "We are losing money on every subscriber-- but we will make it up in volume!")
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