Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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New, Low-Cost Technique Isolates Ancient DNA

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

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BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS—A new, low-cost method for purifying ancient human DNA of contaminants acquired in soil was presented by a team from Stanford University at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics. This method produces samples that have a higher resolution and thus can yield more information than samples produced using other techniques. The approach could also be used to study ancient dog DNA and could be used by forensic scientists. “I think it remains to be seen whether the approach will become a practical method for whole genome sequencing of these difficult but important ancient DNA samples, but I think it is exciting that this is even conceivable,” commented geneticist David Reich of Harvard University.