Ancient DNA uncovered in Greenland
It is really cool to me that we keep finding new things that are old as heck. The oldest DNA sequences have been discovered by researchers in an ice aged sediment.
A core sample was taken in northern Greenland, showing that the frigid region was once teeming with plant and animal life, dating back two million years. A combination of temperate, Arctic flora and animals coexisted in the ecosystem where mastodons, reindeer, geese, lemmings, and hares flourished.
The genetic material left behind by every living thing in the environment all those millions of years ago provides a more thorough account of prehistoric life than fossil records. This allows reasearchers to learn a heck of a lot about the past and the conditions that unravelled leading us to our current day.
There is no ecosystem like this one in it's current era, but findings like these may offer a genetic road map for how some species can respond to the climate catastrophe.
This is probably a wow, and then forget it the next day type of story. But millions of years ago, this area saw a period of rapid climatic change that caused temperatures to rise before the environment cooled and froze into permafrost. Some can argue that this moment in history resembles what we can expect to witness in several years due to global warming, which hits a little closer to home. Perhaps if we study the past a little more closely we could find solutions that can protect us from what might be yet to come. In other words, load up on some winter season clearance sales while you can and get ready for a long winter!
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