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DNA and ancient remains

Every cell in your body contains mitochondria, tiny sausage-shaped power generators. They have their own small amount of DNA, separate from the DNA found in the cell nucleus. Because each cell has around 500-1000 mitochondria but only one nucleus, there are many more mitochondrial DNA molecules than nuclear DNA molecules. So a short phrase of mitochondrial DNA is often the only sort present in sufficient quantities to be detected in ancient remains.

The DNA in mitochondria (red) has provided clues about our ancestors.
The DNA in mitochondria (red) has provided clues about our ancestors.
Anne Cooke

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