Oldest DNA found in Greenland

DNA found in Greenland

The oldest DNA found in Greenland refers to a vast area covered by ice. It is true, that the situation was not always like this. Danish researchers said, two million years ago, the temperature here was between 11 and 17 degrees Celsius. Scientists have identified DNA from animals, plants, and microbes from that time. They say that this is the oldest DNA identification case so far.

Oldest DNA found

Danish researchers

Danish researchers identified this DNA from sediment collected from Greenland. According to them, Greenland was once a kingdom of various animals and plants.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen said last Wednesday that they have identified the DNA of different animals such as mastodon, reindeer, and rabbit, different plants like poplar, and birch, and different bacteria and algae. DNA is essentially the self-replicating material that carries the genetic information of living organisms. Scientists said It is also called the blueprint of life.

Modern elephant

The mastodon was basically an animal similar to the modern elephant. It once roamed throughout North and Central America. The mastodon, along with other large mammals, became extinct after the Ice Age began 10,000 years ago. The researchers’ new discovery revealed information about the mastodon’s wider range.

Oldest DNA found

The research and the last result article were published in the journal Nature. SK Willerslev, director of the Lundbeck Foundation Geogenetics Center in Denmark, who led the research team, said that obtaining mastodon DNA was a great surprise. It has never been found before in Greenland. But the biggest surprise is finding a unique ecosystem there. There, unique ecosystems were created for both cold and temperate species.

Willerslev said, ‘No one would have thought that such diverse flora and fauna existed in Greenland two million years ago. The conditions we are going to see in Greenland in the next few years as a result of global warming are exactly what happened there at the time.’

DNA from 41 types of mineral-rich sediments

The researchers said they identified DNA from 41 types of mineral-rich sediments. DNA of 100 types of animals and plants has been found there. The sample was collected by digging in Greenland in 2006. But no DNA could be identified from that sample for so long. Today, thanks to advanced DNA detection methods, DNA from animals, plants, and microbes dating back two million years has been found in those samples.

Oldest DNA found

But Willerslev said it is not possible to bring back extinct species using the DNA that has been identified. However, their research will provide information on how different plants can become more tolerant to global warming.

DNA of the mammoth

Earlier, the oldest DNA of the mammoth, another animal of the elephant family, was identified 1.2 million years ago. It survived in the icy conditions of Greenland. The human species Homo sapiens originated 300,000 years earlier than the mammoth. More info here

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