Okay, it’s a mouthful, but the field of paleoproteomics is producing a torrent of discoveries that is hard to ignore. Don’t believe us? Just take a peek at #paleoproteomics on Twitter. It’s fascinating, we promise.
Paleoproteomics is essentially a new lens through which we can see the past. It’s the study of ancient proteins, which are more abundant and tend to hang around longer in ancient fossils than DNA. In other words, proteins provide a stronger, clearer signal from further back in our history than we’ve ever seen before.
Thus far the technique has already provided insight into samples that are 3.4 million years old, whereas the oldest DNA fragment studied to date is 800,000 years old. This relatively new field is revealing more about the human origin story every day and there’s likely to be even more exciting breakthroughs from this field to pore over in 2021.
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