For the first time, the "complete" genome of an extinct species has been generated. This week, the wooly mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius, had its DNA decoded by a team of researchers, with the results published in Nature. "Complete" was in quotes back there because without a modern species, like the African elephant's genome to compare it to, generated from intact chromosomes, the team can't be totally sure that they have the whole thing. Nonetheless, it's very exciting that a combination of some hair from the long-dead beast and next-generation sequencing technologies (oh, and $10 million) may one day allow a mammoth to walk the Earth again. It's also created the next in line of "-omics" - "Museomics" where natural history specimens, ancient DNA technology and pyrosequencing combine.
Dechronization is authored by evolutionary biologists interested in the development and application of methods for estimating phylogeny and making phylogeny-based inferences. The goal of the blog is to provide a forum for discussion of the latest research and methods, while also providing anecdotes, tidbits of natural history, and other related information.