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Trends Biotechnol. 2008 Jun;26(6):285-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2008.03.005. Epub 2008 Apr 24.

Engineered polymerases amplify the potential of ancient DNA.

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  • 1Department of Biology, 326 Mueller Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16801, USA.


The generation of genomic data from mammoths and Neanderthals has reinvigorated discussion about whether extinct species could be brought back within the foreseeable future. However, post-mortem DNA decay rapidly reduces the number and quality of surviving DNA fragments, consequently increasing rates of sequencing error and forming a significant obstacle to accurate sequence reconstruction. Recent work has shown that it is possible to engineer a polymerase capable of using even highly damaged fragments as template sequences.

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