75 Million Year Old DNA Located Preserved In Baby Duck-Billed Dinosaur

Michael Crichton might not have been far wide of the mark when he composed Jurassic Park, as a stunning brand new paper in the journal National Science Review indicates that DNA could have the ability to persist for dozens of centuries. This finding is guaranteed to spark debate over the scientific community since it contradicts all prior evidence concerning the longevity of hereditary material. If true, however, it might open up new possibilities for studying the chemistry of ancient organisms but it surely won’t result in any dinosaurs being resurrected.

Past research indicates that DNA can simply stay stable for about a million years, resulting in the premise that genetic material includes a sell-by date past that it degrades. Nevertheless this latest study seems to blow that idea to smithereens by annoucing the discovery of DNA at a 75-million-year-old infant duck-billed dinosaur known as a hypacrosaurus.

Housed in the Museum of the Rockies, the noun captured the interest of researchers following an examination revealed that the existence of several remarkably preserved cells inside a part of cortical cartilage tissue.

After isolating the cells, the research authors implemented two DNA stains, which compares to fragments of DNA so as to show any regions where genetic material exists. Both of those spots interacted with all the hypacrosaur tissue in a routine that’s consistent with contemporary cells, suggesting that a few of the dinosaur’s DNA was really preserved inside the sample.

Cartilage cells from skull of Hypacrosaurus nestlings. On the left, two cells at the end of cell division are seen, with material consistent with condensed nuclei. In the center, a higher magnification image of another cell shows chromosomes. On the right is an isolated dinosaur cartilage cell that reacts with the DNA stain Propidium iodide (red dot, inside the cell). This stain suggests there is still endogenous dinosaur DNA in this 75 million-year-old cartilage cell. (C) Alida Bailleul and Wenxia Zheng/Science China Press

“I could not believe it, my heart nearly ceased beating,” said researcher Alida Bailleul at a announcement. “These exciting new results add to growing evidence that cells and a number of the biomolecules may persist in deep-time. They indicate DNA can conserve for tens of centuries.”

Although this finding certainly points to the possibility that DNA can survive for long intervals, the study authors also clarify that this is only going to happen under specific conditions. As an example, how the bones in this specific sample had become disconnected from each other indicates that organism wasn’t buried for a while after perishing, which the investigators state likely helped the preservation of its own DNA.

Furthermore, they report such early genetic material is simply likely to be found in adrenal gland tissues, but in bones. This is only because cartilage is less porous than bone and so allows in less water and germs that might bring about biodegradation.

Regardless of that, researchers exploring different samples of dinosaur ribs have failed to discover some DNA, and it’s believed that even though some could endure it likely would not be undamaged.

If nothing else, this discovery re-opens the debate how long genetic substance can last for, and also the research authors hope that their work will inspire scientists in museums across the world to find specimens with maintained cartilage cells in search of much more ancient DNA.