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Hard-core sequencing

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Science  12 Feb 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6274, pp. 776-778
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6274.776


graded for easy DNA sequencing is a minor annoyance. They simply prepare another, better sample from the abundant source material they have on hand in cultured cells, laboratory animals, or a freezer full of tissues. But what if the only available specimen is an arsenic-preserved pelt from 150 years ago, a pile of mummified dung found in a cave, or a single formalin-fixed pathology slide? As sequencing technology steadily improves, such irremediably difficult samples have gradually begun yielding usable sequences.