(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of researchers analyzing seafloor sediments in Antarctica has unearthed about one million years old DNA, which is the oldest of its kind.
An international and interdisciplinary team of scientists conducted a study of deep-sea sedimentary deposits. The samples were recovered from the sea floor north of the Antarctic continent.
For the analysis, a new method was used, called sedaDNA by the developers. This method allows you to establish who and when in the deep past lived in the ocean.
In addition, this method is able to track possible major changes in DNA structures, which, in turn, may be associated with climate change.
It was with the help of sedaDNA that the researchers found ancient DNA on the seafloor that is about one million years old.
“This is by far the oldest marine DNA authenticated by sedaDNA to date,” said study lead author Linda Armbrecht.
According to her, along the way, it was possible to detect the DNA of many other ancient organisms, the age of some of them is about half a million years.
Analysis of the studied sediments showed that the so-called diatoms were very common in the local marine environment during warm climatic periods.
The last major change occurred in these places about 14,500 years ago. Scientists have come to the conclusion that then on our planet there was a warming of the climate.
Antarctica has lost a lot of ice, and the level of the World Ocean has risen significantly.
The study also showed that Antarctica’s ecosystem has repeatedly changed significantly over many cycles of ice ages.
In other words, on our planet, periods of global climate warming were replaced by ice ages and vice versa. These processes of natural climate change have occurred throughout the history of the earth.
The new data will help scientists understand exactly how the ecosystem has responded to climate variations.
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