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Forensic Sci Int Genet. 2008 Mar;2(2):104-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fsigen.2007.09.004. Epub 2007 Nov 19.

Fishing for ancient DNA.

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Department of Evolution, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala Univeristy, Norbyvägen, Uppsala, Sweden.


The major problems concerning ancient DNA studies are related to the amount of extractable DNA and the precautions needed to avoid contamination. From the very first step of the analyses, the DNA extraction, these problems must be confronted. There are several extraction methods available for DNA in ancient tissue; several of them are complicated and time consuming, and none of the methods have reached an acceptance level such that they are routinely used on a widespread basis. Here we investigate the efficiency of two methods, one based on magnetic separation of the targeted molecules, and one based on silica binding. The efficiency rate of these two on the material studied seems to be identical. The silica binding method has the benefit of relative simplicity, but the magnetic separation technique also has advantages. For example, it is possible to reuse the extract several times for different loci, and it is possible to concentrate all extracted DNA from one locus into one PCR.

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