Jurassic Park and the race for ancient DNA

scientific american
Image via Scientific American. Credit: Brocken Inaglory

Deep within the mudstones of Clarkia, Idaho reside some of the most awe inspiring fossils of the Miocene period. The fossilised plants and insects here are simply incredible. As early as 1975 Clarkia was put on the map due to its exceptional preservation of cellular and subcellular structures, but we are here for its potential to preserve a particular molecule. The one that controls heredity: DNA.

The potential for ancient DNA (aDNA) preserved in fossils had long fascinated palaeontologists, and in the (ultimately futile) race to find it in the 1990s, researchers cracked open and destroyed priceless fossils preserved in amber.

Read the full, original story here: Jurassic Park and the Race for Ancient DNA

Additional Resources:

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