Ancient DNA from 1 Million years ago discovered in Antarctica.

As we're a species with ever-shrinking attention spans, it can be difficult to comprehend just how long life has been around on Earth. However, try to get your head around this one: Scientists have dug up fragments of DNA dating back 1 million years ago.

Found beneath the floor of the Scotia Sea, north of the Antarctic, these fragments of organic material can be invaluable in charting the history of the region – mapping out what has lived in the ocean and across what kind of time spans.

Technically referred to as sedaDNA – for sedimentary ancient DNA – the recovered samples are likely to prove useful in the ongoing efforts to understand how climate change could affect Antarctica in the future.

"This comprises by far the oldest authenticated marine sedaDNA to date," says marine ecologist Linda Armbrecht from the University of Tasmania in Australia.

SedaDNA is found in many environments, including terrestrial caves and subarctic permafrost, which have yielded sedaDNA dating back 400,000 and 650,000 years, respectively.

Cold temperatures, low oxygen, and a lack of UV radiation make polar marine environments like the Scotia Sea terrific locations for sedaDNA to remain intact, just waiting for us to find it.

Source: www.sciencealert.com


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