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Oldest DNA?

Martin Bishop mbishop at crc.ac.uk
Thu Sep 26 04:29:03 EST 1991

There was an interesting Royal Society discussion meeting on this earlier in the
year, now published in Proc. Roy Soc. B Vol. 333, 1991.

The Miocene DNA came from fossil leaves, and leaves with similar preservation
are known from the Oligocene, Eocene and even possibly the Cretaceous.
So pushing to 100 million years may be possible.

The chance of getting 300 million year old material seems slim, but until 
recently who would have imagined 20 to be possible?

The biggest problem is convincing people that the DNA is not a contaminant from
a more recent period.

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