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SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: deoxyribonucleic acid
DEFINITION: The basic material of chromosomes, which carries the hereditary instructions (the blueprint) which determine the formation of all living organisms. Genes the organizers of inheritance are composed of DNA. Analysis of the DNA of different primate groups has been used to determine the evolutionary line of modern humans. DNA techniques have also been used to show how long various regional human populations have been separated from each other. DNA analysis of blood residue both human and animal on prehistoric tools and weapons may provide information on the evolutionary relationships of a range of animal species and between prehistoric and modern humans.
Rudna Glava
DEFINITION: The site of a Late Vinca copper mine, in the limestone hills of northeastern Serbia. The mine, dated to the early 4th millennium BC, employed a mining technique involving the construction of platforms on the steep hillside and follow the vertical veins of malachite down, thereby creating empty 'shafts'. Sealed deposits of miners' lamps, antler picks, and gabbro mauls have been found at the bottom of abandoned mineshafts, of which there are over 25.
ancient DNA
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Genetic material preserved in the archaeological remains of bones and plants that can be studied for past genetic relationships
DEFINITION: A Danish word meaning 'land taking', used to describe a common form of early agriculture in which an area of woodland was cleared and cultivated (which has been identified in the pollen record). The land was later abandoned and was taken over by weeds, finally reverting to woodland. Its regeneration began with the birch, a rapid colonizer of areas cleared by fire. Landnam has been recognized in pollen analysis by changes in the pollen spectra: the drop in tree pollen, the appearance of grass and plantain pollens, a subsequent increase in the latter, and an eventual reappearance of the tree pollen. Landnam range in date from Neolithic to Bronze Age.
mitochondrial DNA
DEFINITION: The genetic material inside the mitochondrian, an energy-producing unit of a cell, which has been studied to calculate the antiquity of modern humans. Some mtDNA studies suggest that modern humans arose first in Africa around 200,000 years ago. Investigations of human mitochondrial DNA reveal that the variation among modern human populations is small compared, for example, with that between apes and monkeys, which points to the recency of human origin. Research also points out that there is a distinction between African and other human mitochondrial DNA types, suggesting the substantial antiquity of the African peoples and the relative recency of other human populations.
CATEGORY: flora; fauna
DEFINITION: A type of DNA present in the mitochondria, the organelles in cells engaged in energy production. It has a circular structure with 16,000+ base pairs and is not formed by recombination but passed on only in the female line. It is distinct from nuclear DNA.
nuclear DNA
CATEGORY: flora; fauna
DEFINITION: The DNA present in the chromosomes within the nucleus of a cell.

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