Oldest Sequenced Genome Sheds Light on Horse Evolution

June 26, 2013 5:03 PM

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Oldest Sequenced Genome Sheds Light on Horse Evolution

When a horse gallops, there is a moment when all its feet leave the ground — the moment of suspension. Scientists digging for fossils in the permafrost of Canada's Yukon Territory happened across a different moment of suspension: a 700,000-year-old bone of an ancient colt, suspended and frozen in time beneath the ground.

Luckily for the scientists, this icy grave kept the bone's proteins and DNA remarkably well-preserved. So well-preserved that the researchers were able to sequence its entire trove of genetic information, which has already begun shedding light on how horses evolved and how they are related to zebras...

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