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November 22 2012

Ancient dung heaps are genetic time capsules

DNA extract from ancient latrines has "opened the door" to identifying the plants and animals that existed in northern Australia's remote Pilbara region more than 30,000 years ago.

Significantly, says co-author Daithi Murray, of Murdoch University's Ancient DNA Laboratory, the genetic material has been collected from what is believed to be the oldest sample yet uncovered in Australia's arid environment.

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