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Proteins persist longer in the fossil record than DNA, but the longevity, survival mechanisms and substrates remain contested. Here, we demonstrate the role of mineral binding in preserving the protein

Proteins persist longer in the fossil record than DNA, but the longevity, survival mechanisms and substrates remain contested. Here, we demonstrate the role of mineral binding in preserving the protein sequence in ostrich (Struthionidae) eggshell, including from the palaeontological sites of Laetoli (3.8 Ma) and Olduvai Gorge (1.3 Ma) in Tanzania. By tracking protein diagenesis back in time we find consistent patterns of preservation, demonstrating authenticity of the surviving sequences.

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    Date Created
    • 2016-09-27
    Resource Type
  • Text
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    Identifier
    • Digital object identifier: 10.7554/eLife.17092
    • Identifier Type
      International standard serial number
      Identifier Value
      2050-084X

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    Demarchi, B., Hall, S., Roncal-Herrero, T., Freeman, C. L., Woolley, J., Crisp, M. K., . . . Collins, M. J. (2016). Protein sequences bound to mineral surfaces persist into deep time. ELife, 5. doi:10.7554/elife.17092

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