Ancient DNA Recovered From Soil
Heard on NPR's Morning Edition: A team of Danish scientists took samples from the frozen soil of Siberia and analyzed them in the laboratory looking for DNA. Astonishingly enough, the soil contained genetic fragments from bison, reindeer, and wooly mammoth going back as far as fifty thousand years, and plant DNA going back four hundred thousand years. This absolutely astounds me, and I gather from the radio story that that's the general impression in the scientific community.
The paper describing this research is published in the current edition of the journal, Science. Access to their content online is limited, but some materials can be found here. Other articles are available from Scientific American, the BBC, and the journal, Nature. You can also listen to the Morning Edition story.