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Possible Dinosaur DNA Has Been Found

Chinese Academy of Sciences
Princeton University

Alida Bailleul
Renxing Liang
Ross Barnett
Liang says.“These
Riley Black
Brian Switek
Skeleton Keys
My Beloved Brontosaurus
Darren Griffin
Rebecca O'Connor
Riley BlackOctober
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Jennifer FrazerDiscover



Jurassic Park

Salt Lake City

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The New York Times
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In a study published earlier this year, Chinese Academy of Sciences paleontologist Alida Bailleul and her colleagues proposed that in that fossil, they had found not only evidence of original proteins and cartilage-creating cells but a chemical signature consistent with DNA.Recovering genetic material of such antiquity would be a major development. Still, these potential tatters of ancient DNA would be far older (by millions of years) than the next closest trace of degraded genetic material in the fossil record.If upheld, Bailleul and her colleagues’ findings would indicate that biochemical traces of organisms can persist for tens of millions of years longer than previously thought. In contrast, the study on the Centrosaurus bone used DNA sequencing to understand the nature of the genetic traces inside it—but did not look at its microstructure.Bailleul acknowledges that considering previously unknown forms of microorganisms when studying dinosaur bone microbiology is important. “Future studies about ancient DNA from past microbial communities that used to live inside the dinosaur bones could shed more light on the roles of microorganisms in the fossilization and preservation of bones through geological time,” Liang says.“These are very difficult questions,” Bailleul says.

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