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Entire genetic code of a 5,700-year-old girl extracted from a piece of ancient ‘chewing gum’

***EXCLUSIVE*** The world's first chewing gum has been discovered by scientists. It was spat out by a young girl who lived in southern Denmark - 5,700 years ago. The striking teenager had dark skin and hair - and blue eyes. Remarkably the half masticated blob - the prehistoric equivalent of a Wrigley's spearmint - contained her DNA. The widely despised behaviour could have landed her with a fine today. But scientists were grateful for her anti-social habit. The lump of birch bark described in Nature Communications still had traces of saliva. It's the first time an entire prehistoric genome has been extracted from anything other than human bones. Study leader Professor Hannes Schroeder said: "It is amazing to have gotten a complete ancient human genome from anything other than bone. "What is more, we also retrieved DNA from oral microbes and several important human pathogens, which makes this a very valuable source of ancient DNA, especially for time periods where we have no human remains." The Stone Age girl has been named Lola - after the island of Lolland off the coast of southern Denmark where it was dug up. Based on the DNA the researchers could tell the birch pitch was chewed by a female. She was genetically more closely related to hunter-gatherers from mainland Europe than to those who lived in central Scandinavia at the time. Birch pitch is a black-brown substance produced by heating bark. It was commonly used by cavemen as an all-purpose glue to stick wooden handles onto stone tools. Sealed in mud the gum was found during archaeological excavations at Syltholm on the coast of Lolland during construction of a tunnel.

'Urban explorer' reveals the fire-ravaged ruins of an abandoned hospital that was left to rot more than 20 years ago in series of eerie photographs

***EXCLUSIVE*** Harrowing photographs of a fire-ravaged, abandoned former NHS hospital and care home have emerged - as news breaks of EVERY major A&E department missing wait targets. Unsettling images show the burnt-out husk of the defunct hospital’s basement; the overgrown but still stately façade of the once grand building; and a former resident’s room which has been completely trashed by both vandals and the passage of time. Remarkably little history remains of Batley General Hospital near Leeds, UK, which shut 31 years ago in 1988, considering it would have served thousands of patients during its lifetime.

Lazy otter drifts off to sleep

***EXCLUSIVE*** A sea otter dozes while floating on his back with his paws resting on his stomach. Far from the predators lurking on the shore, the otter takes a nap in the cold, blue Alaskan waters.

Mesmerising patchwork of boats

***EXCLUSIVE*** Hundreds of boats are moored together creating a mesmerising patchwork when viewed from above. Each of the small crafts is equipped with a life ring and some have colourful umbrellas set up.