January 17, 2020, 11:30–12:30
Room MS 001
After more than three decades of research, ancient DNA has now come of age. The complete genome sequence of hundreds of ancient individuals has been characterized and genome-scale datasets are under development using thousands of archaeological remains from both humans and non-human organisms. This wealth of genetic information allows the reconstruction of past population affinities at unprecedented detail, which helps chart through space and time the history of population migration, contact, admixture and adaptation to novel environments. The recovery of DNA from microbes, especially pathogens, also opens for a deeper understanding of the origins of major infectious diseases, the genomic changes underlying virulence, and their impact on human history. Applied at the scale of communities, ancient DNA has started to reveal how our microbial self but also how plant and animal communities have responded to major environmental crises and/or cultural transitions.