Amino acid racemization dating
Additionally, characterization of nucleic acids can often be difficult and time-consuming.
Bada believes that the extent of amino acid racemization is a useful indicator of the extent of DNA degradation in ancient specimens (3).
Jurassic Racemization In addition to studying animal life span, Bada also applied racemization analysis to the search for genetic material in ancient fossil and tissue samples.
DNA stability is a major complication in the analysis of ancient genetic material.
For example, at neutral p H, rates of aspartic acid racemization and DNA depurination are almost identical at temperatures from 45 to 120 °C.
Bada and his colleagues examined the degree of race mization of aspartic acid in archaeological and paleontological samples.
The levels of D- and L-aspartic acid were analyzed by ion exchange chromatography or reversed-phase HPLC.
The relative proportions of each enantiomer were measured using fluorescence detection.
The eye lens of a bowhead whale is made up of dozens of layers of protein, much like an onion.
According to Bada, aspartic acid was used because it has the fastest racemization rate.