Europe, Cnet discussed on All Things Considered


Intersection of our technology and entertainment in making marbles signs and splendor of the courts of Europe more at cnet museum dot org this is All Things Considered from NPR news I'm ari Shapiro and MOT Cornish or than five thousand years ago a woman in Scandinavia chewed on a piece of birch rudimentary chewing gum of sorts that as NPR's merit Kennedy reports has proven to be a remarkable source of ancient DNA this dark little blob of birch page would be pretty easy to overlook an archaeological site was initially it's a black brown substance that was obtained by heating birch bark but honey Schroeder a paleo geneticist at the university of Copenhagen says a student coming from the site brought it to him with a question can we get the in and out of this and you know you're like well we know haven't really tried so let's give it a go people in the stone age would chew the substance and use it as a form of glued to put sharp points on the weapons they may have also used it as a kind of medicine so these were clues that it might contain DNA but the researchers expected it to be difficult to extract it's still quite challenging to get to know a complete engine human genome from human remains the DNA sequencing went better than they could have ever expected they were able to reconstruct a complete human genome sure so this is the first time that an entire engine human genome has been extracted from anything other than human bones or teeth the team published their findings in the journal nature communications and the DNA tells us a lot about this woman who lived about five thousand seven hundred years ago she had this really you know striking combination of dark hair and dark skin and and and the wise Schroeder says those features were common to other hunter gatherers in this area at the time which is now an island in Denmark he says that even though farmers were beginning to settle in northern Europe the woman's DNA does not show any traces of former ancestry and even beyond her DNA the scientists were also able to extract ancient microbes from her mouth there were sealed in the ancient gum they found traces of a virus and they also extracted remnants of what could have been the woman's last ZTE meal doc and hazel nuts sure says it's unique to have DNA traces of microbes and clues about diet all from a single individual it's really you know the rich picture from this kind of inconspicuous small lump of birch resin Herford molecular archaeologist Christina Warner's says she thinks it was incredibly creative to try to recover information from the ancient chewing gum and the fine says a lot about her field right now as our technology that we're using get stronger we're starting to realize that much more of the past this preserves than we ever thought she recently tried analyzing chewed up stems from a cave in Mexico though unfortunately little information was preserved as technology has dramatically improved Warner says scientists should try to test more objects for DNA that they find on archaeological sites gives me inspiration to go out and start looking for for more of these unusual contexts in which we might find interesting information a pretty storied legacy for a piece of gum Merrick Kennedy and pureness after twenty five years the number one the song on Billboard's hot one hundred chart is Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is you one thousands of new holiday songs have been released since but none has become an during standard like this one Chris clinic reports on the challenge of trying to crack the tiny you'll tied it he Kerry single item wish list was the punctuation mark on half a century in which a new original secular holiday song would become ubiquitous every few years this was nineteen seventy nine here's nineteen eighty one now nineteen eighty four in nineteen eighty seven well the soldier hate them you know the both of them you can likely say about any you'll tunes written lately by which I mean this century people still write them down this story ms a of the there's no way that the Senate clothing isn't the most important person in the room up in the North Pole so I thought she deserved to get some sun aloe Blacc a southern California singer songwriter who's been making records since two thousand three and eight new songs on his twenty eighteen out from Christmas fun it is intimidating to think about trying to write something that will stand the test of time he also wanted to try to expand the emotional palette of holiday yeah we want to get together and have fun and give hugs and Christmas cheer there's also like some family members you just don't want to see let dry doctor Demento a pop music historian who specializes in obvious ephemera likens the contraction of the Christmas play list to increase your earning for tradition at this time.

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