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Fourth echelon

Ancient DNA show how early populations adapted to environment

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AUSTIN, Texas, May 28 (UPI) -- Researchers at the University of Texas say they've been able to detect epigenetic marks among ancient DNA recovered from human remains. The marks may offer clues as to how early human populations adapted to various environs.

Epigenetic marks are the chemical modifications made to DNA to affect how different genes are expressed. Some marks are permanent, but others are fluid, changing in response to environmental factors -- diet, disease, climate.

By looking at epigenetic markers, researchers say clues can be gleaned as to how ancient populations responded and adapted to their varying surroundings and circumstances.

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