Ancient DNA Redux: 700-Year-Old Virus Resurrected from Frozen Caribou Dung

Under nine feet of ice, frozen for 700 years, from DNA extracted from bits of caribou dung, a viral genome has been recovered and brought back to life.   Don’t worry this isn’t a case of mad scientists resurrecting the black plague for nefarious purposes.  This is the story of some inquisitive scientists investigating past environments […]

Fossil Virus Found in Hamsters Points to an Ancient Origin of Ebola Virus

The Ebola virus has captured headlines around the world.  One of the big questions that I see being asked frequently is – where did it come from? Does it have a recent origin or has the virus been with us for a long time but simply not recognized? Clearly it didn’t come into existence in […]

We’re Going on a Fossil Hunt to Find a Herpes Virus

There is a very recent form of fossil hunting that I have gotten to partake in to some small extent, and I can do it while sitting in front of a computer screen! With some computer skills and some knowledge of animal genomes it isn’t difficult to join this hunt for fossils inside the genome of living organisms.

Ancient DNA Comes to Life: Giant Virus Resurrected from Siberian Permafrost

Just how long can DNA survive after the death of a cell or without cellular activity to maintain itself?  I addressed this question a few months ago (Young Earth Creationism and Ancient DNA) and suggested that we would learn much more in the coming year.  Already we have seen multiple complete genomes from fossil bones […]