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Should be titled "Absence of DNA sequenceable by 454"

Posted by JohnThompson on 14 Sep 2013 at 14:31 GMT

I have no doubt that this work was carefully done and I have no reason to doubt the results. The conclusions, however, are over-reaching. Having no DNA that is sequenceable by 454 (which requires amplification and relatively long, intact, unmodified DNA) is not at all the same as having no DNA. There are examples of DNA that cannot be sequenced by 454 but can be detected by single-molecule methods. A proper study of DNA survivability in amber will require the most sensitive assays and not just the most accessible. Is it likely that Jurassic era DNA has survived in amber? No, but this work does not prove it.

No competing interests declared.