DNA Test Validated For Accuracy
- From: Rich Travsky <traRvEsky@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2006 19:05:35 -0700
A new analysis has validated the use of a classic genetic system to estimate the
number of people or animals that existed tens of thousands of years ago.
As the world's first explorers branched away from humanity's birthplace in east
Africa some 65,000 years ago, distinct mutations accumulated in the DNA of each
population, thereby providing a genetic trail for modern researchers to follow.
But, recently, some scientists expressed doubts about that classic genetic system
that involves tracking sequences of mitochondrial DNA, also known as mtDNA.
University of Florida scientists analyzed publicly available mtDNA datasets of 47
species of mammals, as well as associated data on protein diversity in the same
"The researchers showed a correlation between mitochondrial DNA and genetic variation
in a way that has never been done before," said Marc Allard, an associate professor
biology at George Washington University who was not involved in the study.
geneticists have used mitochondria for all kinds of work for 20 years, and to think
that mtDNA didn't correlate with population size was clearly going against the dogma.
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