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Describe relative absolute dating techniques

By conducting aspartic acid racemization measurements using an HPLC/fluorescence detection method, Bada analyzed the bowhead’s eye lenses to estimate the whale’s age at the time of death (2).

DNA stability is a major complication in the analysis of ancient genetic material.Since ( ) and (–) are experimental parameters, the absolute configuration of atoms in chiral molecules are commonly described using R and S, from the Latin rectus (right-handed) and sinistrus (left-handed).An older convention, commonly used by biochemists to describe amino acids and sugars, uses the letters D and L to designate absolute configuration (Figure 1).Racemization is the process in which one enantiomer of a compound, such as an L-amino acid, converts to the other enantiomer.The compound then alternates between each form while the ratio between the ( ) and (–) groups approaches 1:1, at which point it becomes optically inactive.

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By measuring the progression of amino acid racemization in these samples, researchers can assess whether nucleic acid analysis would be productive.

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