Cool Job: Ancient DNA Detective
Generally, the best way to study how the Earth was in prehistoric times is to learn more about the animals that lived back then. That’s where Beth Shapiro comes in. As a self styled evolutionary paleogeneticist, she travels to the cold reaches of the world to find DNA samples of long extinct animals such as mastodons and saber-toothed tigers. She hopes to learn more about what life was like for these ancient animals, and how they responded to a rapidly changing climate. She brought with her some samples she pulled from the Canadian permafrost, and you may be surprised at what she found.
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Recorded June 2011; Posted July 2011