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Oldest DNA ever decoded. Science makes DNA breakthrough in the tooth of a mastodon. A fossilised tooth found in a swamp has allowed scientists to work out the DNA of a primitive North American elephant.

, Will Iredale

Scientists have worked out part of the genetic structure of the mastodon, a giant primitive elephant, after finding DNA preserved in the fossilised tooth of a beast that died up to 130,000 years ago. The creature is thought to have roamed the forests and plains of North America before dying and sinking into a swamp that preserved its tissues. The information obtained has shed new light on the ancestry of mastodons and mammoths, both now extinct, as well as on the origins of the three surviving e...



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