Everest found DNA that shouldn’t be there

(ORDO NEWS) — The Wildlife Conservation Society and scientists at the University of Appalachia have used ecological DNA (eDNA) to determine biodiversity on Mount Everest, Earth’s highest mountain.

The work was part of the 2019 National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Everest Expedition, the largest exploration mountain expedition in scientific history .

The scientists collected environmental DNA samples from a dozen streams and ponds located at altitudes ranging from four and a half to five and a half kilometers.

Analyzed 20 liters of water, experts identified living organisms from 187 taxonomic orders. Many organisms have been identified at the genus or even species level.

As a result of the expedition on Everest, in particular, tardigrades and rotifers were discovered – tiny creatures that have adapted to life in the most extreme places on the planet.

But much more scientists were surprised by other findings – judging by some samples of eDNA, there are creatures on the highest mountain of the Earth that should not be there at all. We are talking about domestic dogs and chickens.

“Environmental DNA are genetic traces that are collected in the wild, so the fact that traces of human-associated animals have been found in eDNA shows us the magnitude of the anthropogenic impact.

We see that humans are increasingly influencing nature even in wild places like Everest,” the authors of the study say.

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