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Study takes on mammoth genome sequencing

  |   Nov. 19, 2008 at 5:33 PM
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- An international team led by a U.S. researcher has completed genome sequencing for an extinct animal, offering insight into its modern-day cousin.

Using DNA extracted from samples of the pre-historic woolly mammoth's hair, Pennsylvania State University biology Stephan Schuster and his 20 teammates collected the near-complete nuclear genome, the team reported in the journal Nature Wednesday.

Samples from several different mammoth species preserved in permafrost were used in the sequencing research, Schuster said. The authors said they believe the sequence is about 80 percent complete.

Their findings identify genes shared with the woolly mammoth's modern-day elephant cousins, and offer insight into its evolution, the article said.

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