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The top 10 list: criteria of authenticity for DNA from ancient and forensic samples

A summary of 10 criteria to ensure replication and authentication of ancient DNA recovered from ancient and forensic samples.

Jan 01, 2003

Authors: H.N. Poinar

International Congress, Series 1239, January 2003, pp. 575-579. DOI: 10.1016/S0531-5131(02)00624-6

Preserved archeological and paleontological specimens contain genetic information that has the power to elucidate the recent evolutionary history of humans, domesticates, and the pathogens they harbored. In addition, DNA from forensic samples is important in sample identification and crime solving. However, the DNA of both fossil and forensic remains can be heavily degraded through hydrolytic cleavage and oxidative base damage, limiting its successful retrieval and amplification. Obtaining authentic DNA sequences from both ancient and forensic remains presents extreme technical difficulties due to the minute amounts, and degraded nature, of DNA along with the exceptional risk of contamination. I reiterate here [1] a rigorous set of 10 criteria to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, meticulous replication and authentication of degraded DNA templates ubiquitous in all ancient and forensic samples.

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