The following is an excerpt.
Researchers have recovered DNA from a nearly 700,000-year-old horse fossil and assembled a draft of the animal’s genome from it. It is the oldest complete genome to date by a long shot–hundreds of thousands of years older than the previous record holder, which came from an archaic human that lived around 80,000 years ago. The genome elucidates the evolution of modern horses and their relatives, and raises the question of whether scientists might someday be able to obtain similarly ancient genomes of human ancestors.
Read the full story here: Horse Fossil Yields Astonishingly Old Genome—Are Similarly Ancient Human Genomes Next?
- “Breaking the time barrier in genome mapping: Learning what made a 700,000-year-old horse tick” Washington Post
This article talks a bit more about the technology used in the research.
- “First horses arose 4 million years ago” Nature
Nature provides a closer look at the equine angle of the discovery.
- “First ancient human sequenced,” Scientist
Researchers sequenced the first ancient human genome–the genome of one of Greenland’s first inhabitants–back in 2010.