Ancient Girl Brought To Life!

31 08 2012

Recently, a team of scientists has sequenced the genome of a very rare specimen. That specimen is an archaic Siberian girl! Using genome sequencing 31 times over, and using a new method that amplifies single strands of DNA, they have produced a near-complete genome of the girl! The genome was so complete that researchers can compare it to a living person’s. Just by looking at this genome, the researchers were able to establish that the girl had brown eyes, brown hair, and dark skin. Exactly how big of a feat is this? Considering the girl lived in Siberia’s Denisova Cave…over 50,000 years ago.

So what does this mean for modern science? Well DNA makes up all of who we are, and is also linked to diseases, illnesses, and defects. Using the genome from this girl, researchers have been working on producing a near-complete catalog of the small number of genetic changes that make us different from the people of this time. It provides much insight into our own DNA, and human evolution in general. 

Using some of the DNA obtained from other specimens, such as the Neandertals, comparison was made and has revealed much about the ancestry, migration habits, and interbreeding that took place 50,000 years ago. This may sound pretty simple, but it is not! To get a genome this complete, a very long and complex process took place. The process involved sequencing with single strands of DNA instead of double strands. Binding special molecules to the ends of the single strand, the DNA was held in place using enzymes that copied its sequence. The result was 20 times more DNA extracted than by previous procedures. 99.9% of the sequence was able to be used.

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Fun fact: Cultures who also contain some inherited Denisovan genes come from New Guinea and China!

Here is how it is already making an impact on the medical industry. The near complete catalog of the genome enabled researchers to see differences between our ancestors and ourselves. 111,812 nucleotides  have changed in modern humans in the past 100,000 years. Of those nucleotides included eight that were directly associated with the nervous system. These are associated with the growth of axons and dendrites, and most importantly a gene implicated in autism. We could be on the break of something huge here!

At Advantec, we will support anyone or anything who helps our clients! Many of our clients work in the medical industry, and we would be overwhelmed with joy to see new research help to cure their patients! This may be a few decades out, but hey why not get our hopes up? We have learned more as a race in the past century than we have for 400,000 years. 

For more information about this amazing new finding, check out CNN’s Article. And, as always, for more information about Advantec Software and what we can do for your business, visit us at Advantec’s Website!

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