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Palaeontology

DNA can't be recovered from dinosaurs

By T.K. Randall
October 12, 2012 · Comment icon 37 comments

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Dinosaur cloning might never be possible as DNA is found to have a half-life of only 521 years.
For a long time researchers have been investigating the possibility of recovering the DNA of a dinosaur, a concept used in the Jurassic Park film series to clone the creatures and bring them back to life. Now however it seems that this may never be possible at all because the half-life of DNA is too short for any to have survived since the last dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. The research indicated that any preserved DNA is likely to become unusable after only 1.5 million years at most.

"This confirms the widely held suspicion that claims of DNA from dinosaurs and ancient insects trapped in amber are incorrect," said evolutionary biologist Simon Ho. "We might be able to break the record for the oldest authentic DNA sequence, which currently stands at about half a million years."[!gad]For a long time researchers have been investigating the possibility of recovering the DNA of a dinosaur, a concept used in the Jurassic Park film series to clone the creatures and bring them back to life. Now however it seems that this may never be possible at all because the half-life of DNA is too short for any to have survived since the last dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. The research indicated that any preserved DNA is likely to become unusable after only 1.5 million years at most.

"This confirms the widely held suspicion that claims of DNA from dinosaurs and ancient insects trapped in amber are incorrect," said evolutionary biologist Simon Ho. "We might be able to break the record for the oldest authentic DNA sequence, which currently stands at about half a million years."
By comparing the specimens' ages and degrees of DNA degradation, the researchers calculated that DNA has a half-life of 521 years. That means that after 521 years, half of the bonds between nucleotides in the backbone of a sample would have broken.


Source: Nature.com | Comments (37)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #28 Posted by ~C.S.M~ 12 years ago
well there is another way, how about re-engierneer dinosaur from they actual descendants?
Comment icon #29 Posted by Simbi Laveau 12 years ago
Well now its definite .No cloned dinos *applause*
Comment icon #30 Posted by UFO_Monster 12 years ago
Lol.. It's a known thing that DNA can't be recovered from Dinosaurs. Just for example, even though if they did clone a prehistoric animal successfully..They will kill it again. Yeah...this is the sad truth. Many animals are killed off by humans. Dinosaurs would be no different.
Comment icon #31 Posted by csspwns 12 years ago
my spider senses are tingling. its telling me that christians have found another way to try to disprove science
Comment icon #32 Posted by Gigmaster 12 years ago
It probably just as well. It is unlikely that any dinosaur could survive in the modern world. The O2 content is different, the temperatures and climate is different, their normal food sources are gone, the air and water are polluted, and they would have no resistance to modern diseases. Without being kept in a controlled, sterile environment, they would most likely not even survive the juvenile stage.
Comment icon #33 Posted by HawkLord 12 years ago
Somehow I get the feeling that creationist will see this as proof of a young earth as they have found dino dna. So we cant bring back the dinosaurs, that doesnt mean we cant try to save some species of animal that are on the brink of extinction or have recently gone extinct from sufficient samples of dna.
Comment icon #34 Posted by Troublehalf 12 years ago
Mammoths are the most important animal to clone. The food and clothing they would provide would be critical for cold countries.
Comment icon #35 Posted by Junior Chubb 12 years ago
Mammoths are the most important animal to clone. The food and clothing they would provide would be critical for cold countries. Seems like a big expense for something that sheep already provide... And according to some people on UM the world is full of sheep.
Comment icon #36 Posted by HawkLord 12 years ago
And according to some people on UM the world is full of sheep. No that would be sheeple. Sheep stand around in fields and go baaaa, sheeple hang out on forum boards and go baaah humbug
Comment icon #37 Posted by Junior Chubb 12 years ago
No that would be sheeple. Sheep stand around in fields and go baaaa, sheeple hang out on forum boards and go baaah humbug Lol, looks like you know what I meant.


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