44 research outputs found

    The Effects of Possible Contamination on the Radiocarbon Dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls II: Empirical Methods to Remove Castor Oil and Suggestions for Redating

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    While kept at the Rockefeller Museum in East Jerusalem, many Dead Sea Scroll fragments were exposed to castor oil by the original team of editors in the course of cleaning the parchments. Castor oil must be regarded as a serious contaminant in relation to radiocarbon dating. If modern castor oil is present and is not removed prior to dating, the 14C dates will be skewed artificially towards modern values. Earlier, it was shown that the standard AAA pretreatment procedure used in the 2 previous studies dating Dead Sea Scroll samples is not capable of removing castor oil from parchment samples. In the present work, we show that it is unlikely that castor oil reacts with the amino acids of the parchment proteins, a finding which leaves open the possibility of devising a cleaning method that can effectively remove castor oil. We then present 3 different pretreatment protocols designed to effectively remove castor oil from parchment samples. These involve 3 different cleaning techniques: extraction with supercritical CO2, ultrasound cleaning, and Soxhlet extraction—each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Our data show that the protocol involving Soxhlet extraction is the best suited for the purpose of decontaminating the Dead Sea Scrolls, and we recommend that this protocol be used in further attempts to 14C date the Dead Sea Scrolls. If such an attempt is decided on by the proper authorities, we propose a list of Scroll texts, which we suggest be redated in order to validate the 14C dates done earlier.

    Sequence-non-specific effects of RNA interference triggers and microRNA regulators

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    RNA reagents of diverse lengths and structures, unmodified or containing various chemical modifications are powerful tools of RNA interference and microRNA technologies. These reagents which are either delivered to cells using appropriate carriers or are expressed in cells from suitable vectors often cause unintended sequence-non-specific immune responses besides triggering intended sequence-specific silencing effects. This article reviews the present state of knowledge regarding the cellular sensors of foreign RNA, the signaling pathways these sensors mobilize and shows which specific features of the RNA reagents set the responsive systems on alert. The representative examples of toxic effects caused in the investigated cell lines and tissues by the RNAs of specific types and structures are collected and may be instructive for further studies of sequence-non-specific responses to foreign RNA in human cells

    4Q Pesher Nahum: A Critical Edition

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