Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse




Journal Article

Ancient biomolecules and evolutionary inference


Welker,  Frido       
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

External Resource
No external resources are shared
Fulltext (restricted access)
There are currently no full texts shared for your IP range.
Fulltext (public)

(Publisher version), 2MB

Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available

Cappellini, E., Prohaska, A., Racimo, F., Welker, F., Pedersen, M. W., Allentoft, M. E., et al. (2018). Ancient biomolecules and evolutionary inference. Annual Review of Biochemistry, 87, 1029-1060. doi:10.1146/annurev-biochem-062917-012002.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-DF45-7
Over the past three decades, studies of ancient biomolecules—particularly
ancient DNA, proteins, and lipids—have revolutionized our understand-
ing of evolutionary history. Though initially fraught with many challenges,
today the field stands on firm foundations. Researchers now successfully
retrieve nucleotide and amino acid sequences, as well as lipid signatures,
from progressively older samples, originating from geographic areas and
depositional environments that, until recently, were regarded as hostile to
long-term preservation of biomolecules. Sampling frequencies and the spa-
tial and temporal scope of studies have also increased markedly, and with
them the size and quality of the data sets generated. This progress has been made possible by continuous technical innovations in analytical methods, enhanced criteria for
the selection of ancient samples, integrated experimental methods, and advanced computational
approaches. Here, we discuss the history and current state of ancient biomolecule research, its
applications to evolutionary inference, and future directions for this young and exciting field.