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Members of the McMaster Ancient DNA Centre are active in different research projects.

Ancient whole genome enrichment using baits built from modern DNA

Study validating the use of reference-free bait synthesis for whole-genome enrichment.

Feb 26, 2014

Quantitative PCR as a predictor of aligned ancient DNA read counts following targeted enrichment

McMaster Ancient DNA Centre research on the use of quantitative PCR to predict hybridization capture success.

Feb 05, 2014

Yersinia pestis and the Plague of Justinian 541—543 AD: a genomic analysis

McMaster Ancient DNA researchers and collaborators identified Yersinia pestis as the causative agent behind the Plague of Justinian. Notably, the the Justinian strain is unique from strains in later pandemics and has either gone extinct or remains unsampled in wild rodent reservoirs.

Feb 05, 2014

Second-Pandemic Strain of Vibrio cholerae from the Philadelphia Cholera Outbreak of 1849

Research paper on the identification and retrieval of Vibrio cholerae from preserved intestines of a victim of the 1849 cholera outbreak in Philadelphia, part of the second cholera pandemic.

Feb 05, 2014

A draft genome of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death

This paper reports the first complete genome of the causitive agent behind the Black Death, Yersinia pestis. Notably it also shows that modern Yersinia pestis strains have stem from these medieval lineages and suggest that factors other than bacterial phenotype may have played a large role in the increased virulance of the Black Death strain.

Oct 12, 2011

Antibiotic resistance is ancient

This work illustrates that antibiotic resistance is a naturally occurring, widespread phenomenon that predates our extensive use of antibiotics. This is consistent with the rapid rise of antibiotic resistance in clinical settings which likely build on establish antibiotic resistance genes in their environments.

Sep 01, 2011

Targeted enrichment of ancient pathogens yielding the pPCP1 plasmid of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death

Here we report the entire full pPCP1 virulence-associated plasmid of Yersinia pestis as high coverage, the longest contingous genomic sequence of an ancient pathogen to date. Further analysis shows that this plasmid belongs to a Y. pestis strain that has not been previously reported and as such is likely not responsible for modern forms of the disease.

Aug 29, 2011

Complete Columbian mammoth mitogenome suggests interbreeding with woolly mammoths

Here we report the first complete mitochondrial genomes of a Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) and a North American Woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius). Evolutionary analysis shows that the Columbian mammoth sample sits within a subclade of North Americna Woolly mammoths, suggesting that the two species likely interbred at some point their evolutionary histories.

May 31, 2011

Quantitative Assessment of the Sensitivity of Various Commercial Reverse Transcriptases Based on Armored HIV RNA

Here we report a systematic comparison of 11 commercially available reverse transciptases for cDNA synthesis. Our analysis reveals significant variation in the sesntivity of these enzymes with Accuscript and Superscript III ranking as the most sensitive and consistent between replicates.

Nov 30, 2010