Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

New Rendering of Camel Family Tree

Camel bones unearthed by miners in Canada's Yukon Territory are leading paleontologists to re-think the evolutionary history of the camel lineage.

Researchers from the US and Canada managed to eke out genomic data from the 125,000-year- to 75,000-year-old late Pleistocene western camel bones to develop high-coverage complete mitochondrial and low-coverage partial nuclear genomes for each specimen, as they've reported in Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Based on that, the researchers found that the three Yukon Camelops specimens are more closely related to African and Asian Camelus than to the South American Lama and Vicugna — in contrast to morphological-based phylogenies. They further estimated that Camelops diverged from the Old World Camelus lineage between some 17.5 million and 7 million years ago, sometime during the Early Miocene to middle Late Miocene.

Camelops cf.hesternus, which lived across central and western North America, went extinct about 13,000 years ago

"There's something pretty spectacular about holding on to a bone that's 100,000 years old that can tell us so much about the history of the past and the history of the land you live in," Grant Zazula, a paleontologist with the Yukon's Department of Tourism and Culture tells the Associated Press. "I think that's pretty spectacular."

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.