Oldest DNA on record – 2 million years – reveals Greenland’s lost world

By Will Dunham
December 7, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

WASHINGTON – Scientists have identified DNA from animals, plants and microbes dating to about 2 million years ago – the oldest on record by far – from sediment at Greenland’s northernmost point … revealing an amazing lost world at this remote frontier. …fragments of DNA were detected for … mastodons, reindeer, hares, lemmings and geese as well as plants including poplar, birch and thuja trees and microorganisms including bacteria and fungi. …”I don’t think anyone would have predicted Greenland holding such a diversity of plants and animals 2 million years ago at a time when the climate was very similar to what we expect to witness in a few years because of global warming,” said Eske Willerslev, director of the Lundbeck Foundation GeoGenetics Centre …Willerslev said the fragmentary DNA cannot be used to resurrect extinct species – as in the “Jurassic Park” books and films – but could reveal secrets of how plants can become more resistant to a warming climate.


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