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DNA Test and DNA Testing Helps Monitor Wildlife


DNA tests have revolutionised how scientists, archaeologists and biologists work; recent developments in DNA testing are helping geneticists discover more about our roots and the wildlife around us. In 2006, a new DNA sequencing machine examined the bones of the Neanderthals. A research project at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, is helping scientists reveal what it means to be human. Scientists are using DNA tests in the on-going project to find out more about Neanderthal skin colour, hair and whether they spoke.

DNA Testing Helps Reveal Genetic Fingerprints

DNA testing can uncover remarkable information – the fact the Neanderthals became extinct 30,000 years ago says it all about the power modern DNA tests and DNA analysis have: uncovering crucial information in tiny bone samples. But it can also help uncover more recent species who have headed towards extinction. Wildlife officials in Massachusetts said they discovered a dead animal that, after DNA testing, was revealed to be an endangered eastern grey wolf. This species was thought to be long extinct in the region. Grey wolves became extinct circa the mid-1800s, with the nearest known population in Canada. But the DNA tests show that the species could be migrating into parts of America including New Hampshire and Maine. The wolf had been shot by a farmer for killing lambs on his property.

DNA Samples on Whale Blubber Could Help A Species Survive

DNA samples are now taken from endangered whales, such as the Northern Right whales that calve in the waters off Florida. Scientists now lie in wait for the whales to take DNA samples – the samples are banked for future DNA testing to help researchers identify individual whales and their parents and to assess genetic variation in the population. Small samples of skin and blubber are enough for future DNA testing; helping scientist put together a genetic fingerprint of the species. It’s hoped better understanding of the mammal, which has a small population of around 300, will help improve conditions and prospects for the species’ survival.

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