Saturday, May 6, 2017

Gold from air

We watch the tv show Bones so we are used to seeing putrified, rotting corpses, with snakes and bugs crawling in and out of the eyes and such.  The show is based on the books and experiences of Kathy Reichs, a real-life forensic anthropologist. That is the type of person who examines bones and other body parts to find cause of death and pin down when, how and by whose hand someone died.  The show features some innocents finding a decayed body.  We have learned that the expected thing to do when you come across a corpse is to begin screaming at the top of your lungs.  We haven't put that into practice but we doubt such behavior will be of much help to us or the deceased.

You may have read that scientists recently extracted human DNA from the soil in a cave where people lived at various times for millennia.  Among people who work on human remains and try to put together a picture of our ancestors and how and where they lived, this is a very big deal.  Until now, real honest-to-God bones were the thing.  Skin and organs deteriorate or get eaten but bones can last and last.  So, extracting DNA from bones was developed.  

A scientist was quoted as saying that extracting DNA from soil was like finding that gold can be extracted from the air.

Popular Posts

Follow @olderkirby