According to Nature, palaeogeneticists led by Morten Allentoft at the University of Copenhagen and Michael Bunce at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, looked at the DNA they found in the leg bones of the extinct moa bird and where able to determine the half life of DNA. Reportedly, DNA will stay in one piece for only 521 years.
By comparing the specimens' ages and degrees of DNA degradation, the researchers calculated that DNA has a half-life of 521 years. That means that after 521 years, half of the bonds between nucleotides in the backbone of a sample would have broken; after another 521 years half of the remaining bonds would have gone; and so on.
The team predicts that even in a bone at an ideal preservation temperature of -5 °C, effectively every bond would be destroyed after a maximum of 6.8 million years. The DNA would cease to be readable much earlier -- perhaps after roughly 1.5 million years, when the remaining strands would be too short to give meaningful information.
|"When it comes to growing intestines, the first inch is the hardest."|
|Real CPR Is Never Shown on TV|
|Getting New Breasts from a Discount Hospital in Thailand|
|Apple's Siri, an Autistic Boy's Best Friend|
|“If you’re dating, you’re going to be let down. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.”|
|U.S.S. Enterprise Owner's Manual|
|“Systemd is, to put it mildly, controversial.”|
|iPhone 6, the First Smartphone to Disrupt NSA's Spying|
|“The Amazon Dash button for horny men and women who don’t feel comfortable telling their partner they’d like to have sex.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“A low flyover of Jupiter's moon Europa.”|
|Recycled Vacuum Lamps|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“A sophisticated global marketing strategy from an industry that is desperate to attract new smokers.”|
|Testing Whether the Earth is Round or Flat|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|