The “molecular paleontology” list

And might as well publicize this list too while I’m at it.

Preserved biomolecules in extinct taxa, such as DNA and proteins, are quite a fascinating topic. They allow scientists to place extinct taxa in molecular phylogenies, understand evolution of certain genes, and quantify prehistoric population dynamics. As well, hypothetically, sequences derived from ancient nuclear DNA can be implemented in the process of de-extinction. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a handy list of taxa with recovered ancient DNA yet. GenBank has a list of extinct taxa in its database, but of course not every reported sequence is accounted for here.

So a few months ago I made another list. It’s a hopefully semi-comprehensive compilation of all reports of “old” DNA, proteins, etc. “Old” being from extinct taxa and/or older than 4,600 years. The list also includes failed attempts at biomolecule extraction, discredited reports, and even hoaxes. Please let me know of anything I missed!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s