Friday, 14 December 2012

DNA in dinosaur bones

A recent study published in Bone (doi:10.1016/j.bone.2012.10.010) shows evidence of residual dinosaur DNA in dinosaur bones. They retrieved osteocytes (bone cells) from the bone and stained it for DNA.

The dinosaurs were Tyrannosaurus rex and Brachylophosaurus canadensis.


Row 1 (ABC) is T. rex. Row 2 (DEF) is B. canadensis. Row 3 (GHI) is ostrich.

Column 1 (ADG) is a anti-DNA antibody stain. Column 2 (BEH) is propidium iodide, a DNA stain. Column 3 (CFI) is 4′,6′-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride, a DNA stain.

Note that the stains are limited to the nucleus of the cell.

They also identified several proteins including histones which are closely associated with DNA.

They have not yet sequenced the DNA, though that would be of considerable interest.

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