Dinosaur DNA and Proteins Identified in Fossils for the First Time

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Recently, a team of paleontologists and researchers from the North Carolina State University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences has affirmed the finding of organic material in 75-million-year-old dinosaur fossils. They claim to have discovered proof of proteins, dinosaur DNA, cells, and chromosomes preserved into the fossils. Those materials survived for much longer than researchers thought. The fossils are skull fragments from a duck-billed herbivore, known as Hypacrosaurs, from the Cretaceous era.

Inside the skull remains, the researchers identified proof of notably well-preserved cartilage cells. Two of the cells were still related to each other in a manner that looks similar to the final phases of the cell division. The others got some structures that resembled chromosomes. The team verified whether any initial proteins and molecules could still be preserved.

Scientists found dinosaur DNA and organic material in fossils

The scientists led two detailed tests, immunological and a DNA test, on other skulls, as well, and compared the results to samples from recent young emu skulls. The first test involved utilizing a substance that will react if it identifies antibodies from a specific cell type. It responded to antibodies of Collagen II, a protein generally present in the cartilage of animals. So, the fragments of the initial proteins still exist.

As for the other test, researchers looked after any sign of dinosaur DNA. They separated single cartilage cells from the Hypacrosaurus and applied two various staining matters that connect to DNA remains. The staining appeared in the same pattern anticipated for new cells.

“These new exciting results add to growing evidence that cells and some of their biomolecules can persist in deep-time,” explained the co-lead author of the research, Alida Bailleul. The results indicate that DNA can be preserved for lots of millions of years. Such a study sheds light on other theories and findings, and the team encourages other researchers to look after other structures on ancient DNA.

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