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OfflineAnjaba
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Registered: 01/12/05
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Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil
    #3976866 - 03/27/05 07:25 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/science/03/24/rex.tissue.ap/index.html

WASHINGTON (AP) -- For more than a century, the study of dinosaurs has been limited to fossilized bones. Now, researchers have recovered 70-million-year-old soft tissue, including what may be blood vessels and cells, from a Tyrannosaurus rex.

If scientists can isolate proteins from the material, they may be able to learn new details of how dinosaurs lived, said lead researcher Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University.

"We're doing a lot of stuff in the lab right now that looks promising," she said in a telephone interview.

It was recovered dinosaur DNA -- the blueprint for life -- that was featured in the fictional recreation of the ancient animals in the book and film "Jurassic Park." Although that was science fiction, Schweitzer said she was not sure if scientists would be able to isolate dinosaur DNA fragments from the fossilized materials.

The soft tissues were recovered from the thighbone of a T. rex, known as MOR 1125, that was found in a sandstone formation in Montana. The dinosaur was about 18 years old when it died.

The bone was broken when it was removed from the site. Schweitzer and her colleagues then analyzed the material inside the bone.

"The vessels and contents are similar in all respects to blood vessels recovered from ... ostrich bone," they reported in a paper bring published Friday in the journal Science.

Because evidence has accumulated in recent years that modern birds descended from dinosaurs, Schweitzer said she chose to compare the dinosaur remains with those of an ostrich, the largest bird available.

Brooks Hanson, a deputy editor of Science, noted that there are few examples of soft tissues, except for leaves or petrified wood, that are preserved as fossils, just as there are few discoveries of insects in amber or humans and mammoths in peat or ice.

Soft tissues are rare in older finds. "That's why in a 70-million-year-old fossil it is so interesting," he said.

Matthew Carrano, curator of dinosaurs at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, said the discovery was "pretty exciting stuff."

"You are actually getting into the small-scale biology of the animal, which is something we rarely get the opportunity to look at," said Carrano, who was not part of the research team.

In addition, he said, it is a huge opportunity to learn more about how fossils are made, a process that is not fully understood.

Richard A. Hengst of Purdue University said the finding "opens the door for research into the protein structure of ancient organisms, if nothing else. While we think that nature is conservative in how things are built, this gives scientists an opportunity to observe this at the chemical and cellular level." Hengst was not part of the research team.

John R. Horner of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University, said the discovery is "a fantastic specimen," but probably is not unique. Other researchers might find similarly preserved soft tissues if they split open the bones in their collections, said Horner, a co-author of the paper.

Most museums, he said, prefer to keep their specimens intact.

Schweitzer said that after removing the minerals from the specimen, the remaining tissues were soft and transparent and could be manipulated with instruments.

The bone matrix was stretchy and flexible and there were long structures like blood vessels. She added that what appeared to be individual cells were visible, but could not say if they were blood cells.

She likened the process to placing a chicken bone in vinegar. The minerals will dissolve, leaving the soft tissues.

The research was funded by North Carolina State University and grants from N. Myhrvold and the National Science Foundation.


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Offlinecb9fl
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Registered: 06/12/03
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Re: Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil [Re: Anjaba]
    #3976878 - 03/27/05 07:28 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I saw that a couple days ago, Thursday I think.

Simply amazing.


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It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. -Andre Gide

"Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives."


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Offlinefaslimy
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Re: Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil [Re: cb9fl]
    #3977565 - 03/27/05 10:13 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

The title had me thinking they found a kleenex in a fossil

They have found bullets in prehistoric fossils..


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InvisibleMarioNett
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 354
Re: Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil [Re: faslimy]
    #3977685 - 03/27/05 10:40 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

faslimy said:They have found bullets in prehistoric fossils..




Huh? I'm not sure you're right about that.


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InvisibleDieCommie

Registered: 12/11/03
Posts: 29,085
Re: Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil [Re: Anjaba]
    #3977824 - 03/27/05 11:16 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I hope they clone that shit before i die.


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InvisibleCloud9
I don't feel, and it feels great
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Registered: 07/03/03
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Re: Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil [Re: DieCommie]
    #3977910 - 03/27/05 11:37 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I also thought they were talking about kleenex at first.. Amazing none the less.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Registered: 06/15/02
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Re: Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil [Re: Anjaba]
    #3978071 - 03/28/05 12:05 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

They need to figure out a way to clone that shit.


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InvisibleBolwarra
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Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 247
Loc: Australia
Re: Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3978710 - 03/28/05 02:08 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

this is awesome...real JPark stuff : )
i hope some of those DNA molecules are intact.

any scientists on here?
what are the chances of DNA molecules this old still having intact nucleotides? if they could isolate and cut specific sequences from the DNA molecule, then wouldn't cloning the specific genes be the 'easy' part?

I'll put my hand up for a giant T-Rex tooth gene, and in future maybe some stegosaurus armour plating too...imagine that on agar

wow!!!


Edited by Bolwarra (03/28/05 08:26 AM)


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InvisibleCloud9
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Re: Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil [Re: Bolwarra]
    #3985914 - 03/29/05 05:02 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

One of these days science is gonna screw with something they realy shouldn't.. thier extinct for a reason..


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OfflineCatalysis
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Registered: 04/23/02
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Re: Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil [Re: Bolwarra]
    #3986362 - 03/29/05 07:52 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

any scientists on here?
what are the chances of DNA molecules this old still having intact nucleotides? if they could isolate and cut specific sequences from the DNA molecule, then wouldn't cloning the specific genes be the 'easy' part?





Its hard to say because "soft tissue" can mean so many different things and I haven't been able to find a good description of what they have. However, it is most likely impossible to recover a complete genome from tissue that old no matter how it was preserved. It is not that easy even with a living sample.

That is why Crichton wrote about the scientists inserting reptile DNA in missing places, etc. The problem is that we barely know anything about dinosaur DNA so that would be impossible at this point. Hopefully this can teach us a thing or 2 and bring us closer to the possibility of cloning or at least understanding the evolutionary path of these amazing animals.


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Invisibleeric_the_red
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Registered: 02/28/03
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Re: Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil [Re: Anjaba]
    #3993366 - 03/31/05 02:32 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

i heard that on the radio. i can't think of any time i've been more excited about what i heard on the news.


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Anno cock? is that some kind of Greek liqueur? -Geo's All Knowing Sex Slave


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