Question about extracting ancient DNA

Stephen Marshall marshall at kauri.vuw.ac.nz
Thu Jul 29 19:58:21 EST 1993


In article <1993Jul27.201705.1 at hmivax.humgen.upenn.edu> Greg Bole,
bole at hmivax.humgen.upenn.edu writes:
>amber, etc.  My question is this:  Has anyone actually extracted DNA 
>from the blood *inside* the stomachs of insects trapped in amber?  If 
>not, do you think this will this ever be possible?  Shades of "Jurassic
Park" 

I am not directly involved in ancient DNA work but a co-worker here (Alan
Cooper) has been
getting DNA out of 4000 yr old Moa, so he keeps up with the field pretty
well, when we
discussed this the problem seemed to be the absence of any samples of
insects actually
with blood in the gut. There was a paper recently (sorry forgot the
reference) which 
claimed to have isolated a tick dna sample by PCR from amber.

The real problem of course is contamination - you really have to create a
dedicated work
area from scratch i.e. no previous PCR having occured in the same
workspaces.

Stephen



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