DNA from herbarium specimens.

Lorelei Norvell lorelei at TELEPORT.COM
Thu Jul 13 20:33:48 EST 1995


On Thu, 13 Jul 1995, K N and P J Harris wrote:

> "Old DNA is of a wider interest than you might think. The soil 
> microbiology world is awash with interest in extracting DNA from soil in 
> the hopes of using it as a way of coping with the hitherto intractable 
> problem of diversity in the soil population. Problem is that we know 
> that some of the humus organic matter is hundreds, if not thousands of 
> years old. Some of that old organic matter could be DNA, messed up and 
> with all sorts of crud attached to it but still DNA. Now, the problem is 
> that,if you extract and purify DNA, how on earth (no pun intended) do 
> you know whether it is relevant to the current population or whether it 
> is a good historical record of what was the population before Columbus 
> sailed ?
	Faith.
	Desire.
	Subterfuge......?
	And comparisons to a reference DNA library.
	Which we don't have yet.
	Which brings us back to
faith
	desire
		subterfuge
Lorelei



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