Danish scientists from the Center for Geogenetics of the Lundbeck Foundation at the University of Copenhagen, led by Professor Eske Villerslev, have recreated the DNA of the fossil bear preserved in the soil.
For the first time, scientists have succeeded in reconstructing the genomes of two species of bears that lived in the Upper Paleolithic in northern Mexico. This was done using DNA that was extracted from cave sediments containing the feces of ancient animals.
The authors studied the contents of the Chiquiuite Cave: they isolated the so-called ecological DNA (eDNA) from cave sediments containing feces and traces of urine of ancient animals, and for the first time in the history of genomics, they recreated on its basis the genomes of two Upper Paleolithic bears
Researchers have recovered DNA:
- American black bear Ursus americanus,
- giant short-faced bear Arctodus simus.
The authors believe that the results they obtained open a new era in paleogenomic research.
Now DNA taken from the environment can tell scientists much more than they could, right down to migration and evolution.