World news – The oldest DNA in the world, up to 1.2 million years old, reveals how mammoths evolved: study


Until this discovery, the oldest genomic data obtained to date was from a horse that was dated 780-560,000 years ago, according to the study published in the journal Nature.

Published: February 18, 2021 14:36 ​​|

Last updated: February 18, 2021 2:36 pm

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LONDON: Scientists have sequenced the world’s oldest DNA, extracted from the remains of mammoths up to 1.2 million years old. This progress provides information on how the extinct giant mammal has adapted to cold weather.

Up until this discovery, the oldest genomic data obtained to date was from a horse that was dated 780-560,000 years ago, such as that in the journal Nature published study found.

According to scientists, including those from the Swedish Museum of Natural History, this is the first time DNA from samples that are millions of years old has been sequenced and authenticated.

« This DNA is incredibly old. The samples are a thousand times older than the remains of the Vikings and even predate the existence of humans and Neanderthals, « said the study’s lead author, Love Dalen, professor of evolutionary genetics at the Center for Paleogenetics in Stockholm, Sweden.

In the research analyzed the Scientists created the genomes of three ancient mammoths using DNA obtained from tooth debris that was 0.7 b is buried in Siberian permafrost for 1.2 million years.

The results of the new research showed that the Colombian mammoth that lived in North America during the last Ice Age was a mixture of the woolly mammoth and a previously unknown mammoth line.

The scientists said that there were no woolly or Colombian mammoths about a million years ago because they had not yet evolved.

Based on the current study, the scientists said that the oldest specimen, which was around 1 , 2 million years old, belonged to a previously unknown genetic line of mammoths.

They referred to this as the Krestovka mammoth based on where it was found and added that it was more than differed from other Siberian mammoths two million years ago.

« This was a complete surprise to us. All previous studies have shown that there was only one species of mammoth in Siberia at that time, the steppe mammoth, « said lead author of the study, Tom van der Valk.

 » But our DNA analyzes now show that there are two different ones genetic lines that we refer to here as the Adycha mammoth and the Krestovka mammoth.

We can’t say for sure yet, but we believe that these can represent two different species, « he added.

According to the scientists, it was mammoths that belonged to the Krestovka Line and colonized North America about 1.5 million years ago.

They also now believe that the Colombian mammoth that lived in North America during the last Ice Age was a hybrid .

The study found that approximately half of the genome of this hybrid mammoth was from the Krestovka line and the other half from the woolly mammoth.

« This is an important discovery. It appears that the Colombian mammoth, one of the most well-known Ice Age species in North America, evolved through a hybridization that occurred approximately 420,000 years ago, « says co-lead author Patricia Pecnerova.

As the scientists another million years old Analyzing mammoth DNA sample, they found that gene variants related to life in the Arctic such as hair growth, thermoregulation, fat deposits, cold tolerance, and circadian rhythms were present long before the emergence of the woolly mammoth.

According to the Researchers, these results suggest that most of the adaptations in the mammoth line were slow and gradual over time.

Our analyzes show that most of the cold adaptations were already present in the woolly mammoth’s ancestor, and we find no evidence of this that natural selection was faster during the speciation process, « said the co-lead author of the St udie, David Diez-del-Molino.

The scientists believe the techniques used in the study could be applied to better understand the processes that drive speciation and long-term evolution.

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