Learn how ancient DNA is currently being used to inform studies of human ancestry, our prehistoric interactions with animals, and our ancestors’ diets!
The field of ancient DNA began almost forty years ago with advances in biotechnology. Early ancient DNA studies held the promise to answer some of life’s most enduring questions but many of these studies came up short. With hard lessons learned, the practitioners of the young field were on track, identifying genetic compositions of extinct species and contributing to forensic science. In the last decade, advances in biotechnology catapulted the study of ancient DNA into a new and exciting era.
Here, Dr. Ripan Malhi and Dr. Kelsey Witt Dillon will highlight a few of their recent projects that were inconceivable just a few years ago. First, they’ll discuss how they identified recovered DNA from a historic pipe used by an enslaved African on a Maryland plantation, and used it to examine the African ancestry of the pipe’s owner, as well as their living descendants. Second, they’ll show how dog coprolites (fossilized poop) from over 1,000 years ago revealed a surprising amount of detail about the diet and health of ancient dogs and Indigenous peoples who lived in present-day St. Louis.
Thursday, August 20th, 2020, 4:00-4:45 pm CT, C2ST Facebook Live & C2ST TV Youtube Live.
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