“ 'Nail down the tongue': Ancient magician's curse found in Jerusalem NBCNews.com Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists excavated a 1,700-year-old curse tablet from a Roman mansion in the City of David in Jerusalem.”
“ Smart Talk: Ancient Greek and Roman ghost stories sound familiar; science of ... witf.org University of Massachusetts Classics professor Dr. Debbie Felton appears on Thursday's Smart Talk to discuss ghost stories from ancient Greece and Rome.”
With the genomes of Ötzi, the 5300-year-old iceman, and even Neandertals pouring out of DNA sequencing labs lately, you might think that it’s now a piece of cake to glean the entire genetic code of an ancient human. But it turns out that those studies used exceptionally pure samples of DNA taken from human bone, tooth, hair, or other tissue typically preserved in frozen soil, ice, or a chilly cave. More often, human remains found by scientists have been sitting in soil warm enough to harbor bacteria, which swamp out the human DNA with their genes and make it too costly to analyze. A clever new method for purifying ancient human DNA samples—reported here last week at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics—could change that, however. The average ancient DNA sample taken from, say, a human tooth or bone is often less than 1% short, degraded pieces of human DNA; the rest is bacterial DNA. Although scientists could sequence this gemisch, they would have to run the samples through their sequencing machines many times to zoom in on the human DNA portion, and it’s not worth the cost. Instead, researchers often prepare stretches of modern human DNA that roughly match the genes or sequences they’re interested in and use these so-called probes to filter the sample. (Modern and ancient human DNA are similar enough that the probes will stick to the ancient DNA.) But this is still expensive, and it reveals the sequence of only a subset of the genome. A team at Stanford University has now come up with a better idea. Postdoctoral researcher Meredith Carpenter and others in the lab of Carlos Bustamante made their probes from RNA instead of DNA, which is “super cheap,” Bustamante says. They found a way to make enough RNA probes to cover the entire genome of an average modern human. The probe has a chemical group that sticks to special beads, so when the researchers mix the probes with an ancient DNA sample, they can wash away the nonhuman DNA. The final step is to use an RNA-chewing enzyme to get rid of the probes, leaving only pure ancient human DNA that can then be fed into a genome sequencing machine. When the researchers tested this filtering method on a dozen ancient bone, teeth, and hair DNA samples from 500 to 3500 years old, they gleaned twofold to 13-fold more human genetic sequence from the samples than they could have by simply sequencing the mixture the same number of times. This higher resolution yielded new information about the samples. For instance, while previously they could only say that a more than 2500-year-old Bronze Age tooth from Bulgaria was European, they could now narrow its ethnic origin down to central or southern European. The team was also able to determine that a more than 500-year-old Peruvian mummy did not have European ancestry, as Spanish explorers claimed.
CRUMBLING walls. Breathtaking temples. Mysterious cities built entirely underground.
They are the astounding feats of architecture that have been left to decay for centuries.
But while they may be in ruins, the sites of the world's most ancient and intriguing cities continue to wow travellers.
From the popular Machu Picchu site in Peru, to the Pompeii ruins and the lesser-known Derinkuyu site in Turkey, here are eight amazing ruined cities that remain shrouded in mystery - or remain perplexing to this day, according to the science website io9.com.
One thing's for sure, the world is a fascinating place.
“ The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe, review. Tim Martin has his eyes opened by an enthralling new history that argues that Druids created a sophisticated ancient society to rival the Romans.”
“ CPP History Professor reads ancient language The Poly Post At a university such as Cal Poly Pomona, where the philosophy is “learn by doing,” there are numerous hands-on, scholarly and well-qualified faculty members who teach and mentor their...”
“Vancouver Sun Allure of Mexico's Aztec Vancouver Sun Although Teotihuacan was actually built some 2,100 years ago by a pre-Aztec civilization, it was easy to see why the Aztecs venerated and continued to use the 83-square-kilometre city for rituals.”
“ #News: Finally know Pyramids in Atlantis Aztec Egypt China Indonesia and the Lost Eden http://t.co/EcXqceUfpn (If you like the news please visit the rest of my news sites, and news summary sites. also if you get tired of the...”
“ Ancient Seikilos Column brings world's oldest song back to life NEWS.com.au Securely housed in the National Museum of Denmark, the marble column has now been "played" once more through the efforts of ancient music researcher Michael Levy and...”
University of Texas at Austin rightOriginal Study. Posted by Jessica Sinn-Texas on January 31, 2013. Ancient DNA opens Aztec 'cold case'. U. TEXAS-AUSTIN (US) — DNA recovered from human remains suggests the Aztec conquest of ...
Emily Wirth's insight:
A graduate student of Anthropology tracked the "Otomí people following the incorporation of Xaltocan into the Aztec empire".
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