As we are of the types Attention is constantly diminishingHowever, it can be difficult to understand how long life has been on Earth. However, try to get a spin on it: Scientists have dug up bits of DNA dating back a million years.
These bits of organic matter can be found beneath the Scotia Sea floor, north of Antarctica, and are invaluable in charting the region’s history — mapping out what lived in the ocean and across what kind of time it stretches.
Technically referred to as HIVDNA – for ancient sedimentary DNA – recovered samples are likely to prove useful in ongoing efforts to understand how Climate change It could affect Antarctica in the future.
“This includes by far the oldest certified marine vessel HIVDNA so far Marine ecologist Linda Armbrecht says: from the University of Tasmania in Australia.
HIVDNA is found in many environments, including underground caves And the subarctic permafrostthat paid off HIVThe history of DNA goes back 400,000 and 650,000 years, respectively.
Cold temperatures, low oxygen, and a lack of ultraviolet radiation make polar marine environments such as the Scotia Sea wonderful sites HIVThe DNA remains intact, just waiting for us to find it.
The recovered DNA was extracted from the ocean floor in 2019 and underwent a comprehensive pollution control process to ensure the accuracy of age markers embedded in the material.
Among other findings, the team discovered diatoms (single-celled organisms) dating back 540,000 years. All of this helps give us an overview of how this part of the world has evolved over vast periods of time.
The team was able to link the abundance of diatoms to warmer periods – the most recent in the Scotia Sea was about 14,500 years ago. This increased overall marine life activity across the Antarctic region.
“This is an interesting and important change that is associated with a global and rapid increase in sea levels and massive ice loss in Antarctica due to natural warming,” Geologist Michael Weber says: from the University of Bonn in Germany.
This latest study is evidence that these HIVDNA technologies could be instrumental in reconstructing ecosystems across hundreds of thousands of years, giving us a whole new level of insight into how the oceans are changing.
Scientists are steadily getting better at removing ancient DNA fragments from Earth and removing the ‘noise’ and interference left by all the modern DNA in existence since then to get an authentic view of the past.
Understanding more about past climate shifts and how the ocean ecosystem responded means more accurate models and predictions of what might happen next around Antarctica.
“Antarctica is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change on Earth, and studying the past and present reactions of this polar marine ecosystem to environmental change is a matter of urgency,” the researchers wrote in published paper.
The search was published in Nature Communications.
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