DNA sequence and hands

DNA sequencing advances have come a long way in recent years.
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The latest advances in DNA sequencing have come a long way.  It is now possible to go back to old DNA evidence from court cases and prove or disprove the validity of a prisoner being locked up.  The Innocence Project is working on getting people who were wrongfully accused let out.  Yet, that’s not all we can do.

It is now also possible to examine our own DNA.  The company known as “23 and Me” will send you a test kit to look more closely into the stuff you are made of.  Once you submit some DNA, in the form of saliva, they will test it for you.  Meaning…you sign up for their website and you can look at where your ancestors came from on a map.  It will likely highlight many places, as most people’s ancestors moved around and married people from outside of their hometown or country.  The company also finds you likely relatives you may not even know about among other DNA-related things.  Pretty cool, right?

Well, here’s something that goes right on that list of “DNAmazing.”  On Wednesday, scientists found a 400,000 year old human thigh bone.  They told the scientific journal Nature that they were able to extract human DNA from the bone which was found in northern Spain at the “Pit of Bones” archaeological dig site.

That makes it the oldest DNA ever found.  What used to be the oldest was only about 100,000 years old.  So, this new discovery is four times older, by the best estimate.  The most intriguing part of this is that the scientists were able to replicate the whole genome of the early human.

It all sounds very “Jurassic Park,” but this all very real.  What will come next?  Time will only tell.