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Paleofeces

io9 has posted an interesting article about poop — ancient poop — and how researchers extract DNA from it.

s one of the great works of Western literature once so cogently observed, everybody does it — and in the 99% or so of human history without sanitation services, humans pretty much just pooped wherever there was space. These “nonhardened fossils”, as archaeologists have euphemistically referred to them, account for a shockingly high percentage of the material found in ancient cave sites. There’s such a ridiculously high quantity of preserved human poop — paleofeces, if we’re being technical — that being able to extract any amount of DNA would make them a massively useful resource.

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Story: Alasdair Wilkins, io9 | Photo: TAMU Anthropology Archives

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