WSU Cougar Head Logo Washington State University
WSU Insider
News and Information for Faculty, Staff, and the WSU Community

Study: How environment may have affected ancient societies

ancient-DNA-from-Photos-dot-comPULLMAN, Wash. – A new study in PLOS ONE shows for the first time that epigenetic marks on DNA can be detected in a large number of ancient human remains. This could improve understanding about the effects of famine and disease in the ancient world.

Epigenetics is the study of factors, often environmental, that change gene activity without changes in the DNA sequence.

Previous studies had primarily detected a key epigenetic mark in isolated ancient remains. This study targeted DNA from archaeological populations, not just isolated samples, to gain insights into how past environments affected entire societies.

Cara Monroe, a Washington State University anthropologist and co-author, provided a portion of the DNA samples from skeletal remains with permission from the Muwekma Ohlone Tribal Council from the San Francisco Bay area, whom she has worked closely with for the past five years.

Read more in the Archaeology News Network at http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.no/2015/05/ancient-dna-sheds-light-on-how-past.html#.VWzAME3bKfA. Find the paper in PLOS ONE at http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0125344.

 

 

Next Story

Mourning the loss of Tyre Nichols

Washington State University System President Kirk Schulz released the following letter to the WSU community on Friday, Jan. 27 addressing the tragic death of Tyre Nichols earlier this month.

Recent News

Mourning the loss of Tyre Nichols

Washington State University System President Kirk Schulz released the following letter to the WSU community on Friday, Jan. 27 addressing the tragic death of Tyre Nichols earlier this month.

Forest debris could shelter huckleberry from climate change

WSU scientists are at work in Northwest forests, studying how fallen logs and other woodland debris could shelter the huckleberry from a hotter, drier future.

WSU helps dog recover from lung condition

It is still a mystery as to what caused abscesses to engulf the lungs of Ashley Hayes’ dog, Blaze, but he is now back in good health thanks to the care he received at WSU.

Find More News

Subscribe for more updates