I used ancient DNA techniques to investigate the identity of a specimen of preserved meat eaten at The Explorers Club Annual Dinner in 1951. There has been ongoing debate about whether this meat is woolly mammoth or extinct giant ground sloth, unearthed from the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. I successfully extracted DNA from the muscle tissue, which was preserved in ethanol, and amplified a segment of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome-b (cytb).
I worked on this project along with Yale PhD student Matthew Davis and Yale professors Gisella Caccone and Eric Sargis, as well as Tim Walsh from the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut. We received funding from the Explorers Club Exploration Fund Grant and the Yale Molecular Systematics and Conservation Genetics Center.