Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Straight from the horse's genetics

  • Print

The genome of a horse that lived 700,000 years ago in Canada's Yukon Territory suggests the common ancestor for modern horses, zebras and donkeys dates to four million years ago.

The DNA discovered from the ancient horse is 10 times as old as any DNA retrieved so far, suggesting it may be possible to get genetic information from animals that lived as long as one million years ago, according to a study released in the journal Nature.

The finding is remarkable because DNA, the hereditary material in almost all organisms, generally starts to fragment after an organism's death, the researchers said. The group made its discovery by matching the genetic material of the horse found in Canada against DNA sequenced from a horse that lived 43,000 years ago; a Przewalski horse, thought to be the last wild horse; five modern domesticated breeds; and a donkey. The finding also means DNA pieces retrieved from old samples may also have information about how the current world evolved, the study authors wrote.

"Our study has pushed the time frame of paleogenomics back by almost an order of magnitude," said the authors, led by Ludovic Orlando, Aurelien Ginolhac and Guojie Zhang, of the universities of Copenhagen and BGI-Shenzhen.

The DNA was partly preserved by the cold environment, the authors wrote.

-- Bloomberg News

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 6, 2013 D4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jets defencemen ready to face adversity

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A Canada goose flies towards the sun near the Perimeter Highway North and Main St Monday afternoon – See Day 10 for Bryksa’s 30 goose project - May 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think it's a good idea for Theresa Oswald to enter NDP leadership race?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google