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Monday, November 16, 2009

Molecular clock, two to six times slower than thought

Don't you just love it when you can say "I knew that!", "I told you!"

I did not have the hard evidence to prove it but I have been all the time arguing that the human molecular clock estimates (even by the standard Zhivotovski's compensated system) must be much older than normally claimed, at least twice.

Now penguins come to confirm my suspicion.

DNA from dead penguins that has remained frozen in Antarctica extreme conditions has demonstrated that the usual molecular clock age estimates are underestimated by 200 to 600 per cent.

In other words, a biological specimen determined by traditional DNA testing to be 100,000 years old may actually be 200,000 to 600,000 years old...

Source: Science Daily.

Original report: S. Subramanian et al., High mitogenomic evolutionary rates and time dependency. Trends in Genetics, 2009 (paywall).


Dienekes said...

You shouldn't rely on press releases.

"the rates of evolution of the mitochondrial genome are two to six times greater than those estimated from phylogenetic comparisons. "

So, now you have the "hard evidence" that proves that you were wrong.

Maju said...

Thanks for the link but I understand that by greater, they mean slower. At least that is what the press release says.

Have you read the whole paper?