Ancient DNA

Recovery and Analysis of Genetic Material from Paleontological, Archaeological, Museum, Medical, and Forensic Specimens

  • Bernd Herrmann
  • Susanne Hummel

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Introduction

    1. Bernd Herrmann, Susanne Hummel
      Pages 1-12
  3. Access to Kinship and Evolution

    1. Front Matter
      Pages N1-N1
    2. DNA Fingerprinting

    3. Evolutionary Analysis

  4. Sample Preparation and Analysis

    1. Front Matter
      Pages N2-N2
    2. Susanne Hummel, Bernd Herrmann
      Pages 59-68
    3. Fixed and Embedded Samples

      1. George O. Poinar Jr., Hendrik N. Poinar, Raul J. Cano
        Pages 92-103
    4. Wet Samples

      1. William W. Hauswirth, Cynthia D. Dickel, David A. Lawlor
        Pages 104-121
    5. Frozen Samples

      1. Henrik Nielsen, Jan Engberg, Ingolf Thuesen
        Pages 122-140
    6. Dried Samples: Body Fluids

      1. George F. Sensabaugh
        Pages 141-148
    7. Dried Samples: Soft Tissues

      1. Alan Cooper
        Pages 149-165
      2. John W. Taylor, Eric C. Swann
        Pages 166-181
    8. Dried Samples: Hard Tissues

      1. Erika Hagelberg
        Pages 195-204
      2. Susanne Hummel, Bernd Herrmann
        Pages 205-210
      3. Hans Ellegren
        Pages 211-217
      4. Franco Rollo, Franco Maria Venanzi, Augusto Amici
        Pages 218-236
    9. Fossil Samples

      1. Edward M. Golenberg
        Pages 237-256
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 257-263

About this book


Ancient DNA refers to DNA which can be recovered and analyzed from clinical, museum, archaeological and paleontological specimens. Ancient DNA ranges in age from less than 100 years to tens of millions of years. The study of ancient DNA is a young field, but it has been revolutionized by the application of polymerase chain reaction technology, and interest is growing very rapidly. Fields as diverse as evolution, anthropology, medicine, agriculture, and even law enforcement have quickly found applications in the recovery of ancient DNA. This book contains contributions from many of the "first generation" researchers who pioneered the development and application of ancient DNA methods. Their chapters present the protocols and precautions which have resulted in the remarkable results obtained in recent years. The range of subjects reflects the wide diversity of applications that are emerging in research on ancient DNA, including the study of DNA to analyze kinship, recovery of DNA from organisms trapped in amber, ancient DNA from human remains preserved in a variety of locations and conditions, DNA recovered from herbarium and museum specimens, and DNA isolated from ancient plant seeds or compression fossils. Ancient DNA will serve as a valuable source of information, ideas, and protocols for anyone interested in this extraordinary field.


DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction RNA Recovery agriculture anthropology chromosome development evolution gene herbar information medicine mummies tissue

Editors and affiliations

  • Bernd Herrmann
    • 1
  • Susanne Hummel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für AnthropologieUniversität GöttingenGöttingenGermany

Bibliographic information