The Daily Dose: 50,000 year-old gum leads to ancient DNA discovery

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Ancient humans chewed birchbark until it turned gummy and pliable. They then used it to fasten arrowheads onto sticks. Scientists were able to extract ancient DNA from 50,000 year old birch and discovered bucket loads of information. For example, “Findings from the site suggest that people living in the area relied heavily on fishing, hunting and the gathering of wild nuts and berries for their survival, even as other Scandinavian populations started farming and domesticating animals.” Fascinating stuff indeed. https://nyti.ms/2S2IFZW

The European Center for Disease Control released their annual dengue epidemiology report. According to their survey, “For 2018, 27 countries reported 2 191 cases of dengue, of which 2 033 (92.8%) were confirmed.” New infections were the most in November. http://bit.ly/2Evi8MO

Nature is reporting that two teams from the Chinese department of agriculture is investigating inadvertent Brucella infections. According to reports, “The Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute in central China confirmed on 7 December that 96 staff and students have tested positive for the infection. In a statement, the institute said most of the infected people are not experiencing signs of brucellosis, the illness caused by the bacterium, which can include fever and flu-like symptoms.” https://go.nature.com/2PPL4Es

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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