Geologically ancient DNA: fact or artefact?

Hebsgaard, Martin B., Phillips, Matthew J., & Willerslev, Eske (2005) Geologically ancient DNA: fact or artefact? Trends in Microbiology, 13(5), pp. 212-220.

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Studies continue to report ancient DNA sequences and viable microbial cells that are many millions of years old. In this paper we evaluate some of the most extravagant claims of geologically ancient DNA. We conclude that although exciting, the reports suffer from inadequate experimental setup and insufficient authentication of results. Consequently, it remains doubtful whether amplifiable DNA sequences and viable bacteria can survive over geological timescales. To enhance the credibility of future studies and assist in discarding false-positive results, we propose a rigorous set of authentication criteria for work with geologically ancient DNA.

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76 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 50529
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1016/j.tim.2005.03.010
ISSN: 0966-842X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > MICROBIOLOGY (060500)
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Elsevier Ltd.
Deposited On: 23 May 2012 03:20
Last Modified: 23 May 2012 03:20

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