Jurassic park lecture
ckank at cco.caltech.edu
Tue Feb 25 20:20:41 EST 1997
On Tue, 25 Feb 1997, Maarten van Roosmalen wrote:
> 'Could you search the internet for more information on ancient
> DNA sequencing and retrieving DNA from insects captured in amber?'
This scenario is unlikely as DNA has a natural decay rate. I don't know
what it is, but just losing a few base pairs a year will lead to very
short average chain lengths which essentially means that recovering a
complete genome from a dead organism, especially a long-dead one, is
exceedingly unlikely (i.e. impossible). Remember, in live beings, DNA is
continually being repaired--a luxury that any dead thing can't afford.
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