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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

DNA of Woolly Mammoth Fully Sequenced

Scientists have decoded the mitochondrial DNA of the Woolly Mammoth. According to the article: 'the Mammoth was most closely related to the Asian elephant rather than the African Elephant. The three groups split from a common ancestor about six million years ago, with Asian elephants and mammoths diverging about half a million years later.' This work is tied into efforts by researchers to use DNA to analyze other extinct species, such as the cave bear, the Haast eagle and the American lion. The novel aspect of this latest work is that it involved stitching together almost 50 fragments of mtDNA in order to obtain the sequence as a whole

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