DNA can't be recovered from dinosaurs
October 12, 2012 | 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.
[!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.
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