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Clever Girl

Scientists Shut Down the Possibility of Cloning, Being Eaten by Dinosaurs


Say goodbye to your dreams of a real-life Jurassic Park. (Actually, why would you want a real-life Jurassic Park? Do you have a death wish? I’d rather not be eaten by a velociraptor, thanks.) Researchers in New Zealand have determined that DNA has a half-life of only 521 years, meaning that any dinosaur DNA a white-haired old scientist might happen to find in a chunk of amber will be so broken down as to be unreadable and, needless to say, uncloneable.

Even at ideal preservation conditions of −5 ºC, DNA would be unreadable after roughly 1.5 million years and effectively destroyed after 6.8 million; given that the last dinosaurs died out around 65 million years ago, you can kiss your dreams of ever having that new cat-sized dino as a pet goodbye.

Says computational evolutionary biologist Simon Ho, “This confirms the widely held suspicion that claims of DNA from dinosaurs and ancient insects trapped in amber are incorrect.”

I don’t know about you, but this sounds like good news to me. As much as I love Jurassic Park, I don’t want to live it, and I’m not exactly displeased that some mad scientist won’t be able to clone a T-Rex. Now we just have to worry about someone accidentally bringing about the zombie apocalypse.

(via: Gizmodo)

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  • Rudiger Dingobait

    Bah! You kids today and your “D.N.A”.

    Back in my day, when we wanted dinosaurs we walked uphill both ways to the lost worlds of the Amazon. It built character.

  • Kathryn McChesney

    Whoo! Still a chance for cloning woolly mammoths!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=615281575 Bill Hedrick

    OK, so wooly Mammoths are out too :-(

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Fragments of D.N.A. is one thing, but what if the carcass is still intact? I bet Mammoths are still a possibility.

  • OdinsEye

    Unless they were Time traveling dinosaurs, who died in our past but their future. I will ride a triceratops. I will..

  • Erica Tomas

    Or you can go with Jack Horner’s current method of reverse engineering a dinosaur from DNA of their current descendents. http://www.ted.com/talks/jack_horner_building_a_dinosaur_from_a_chicken.html

    Until, of course, the Doctor comes along and takes me back to the Cretaceous to steal myself a Utahraptor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=520252751 GeekGurhl Binks

    Actually no this is not the case. What we have found with mammoth is preserved tissue. Its only fossilized DNA fragments that are unreadable due to half life breakdown. Put it simply with mammoth’s we have found some in the freezer and with Dino’s all we have is in some rock.

  • http://digg.com/users/OmegaWolf Silver Fang

    I’m glad to hear that. Dinosaurs don’t belong in the modern world.

  • http://digg.com/users/OmegaWolf Silver Fang

    Those went extinct more recently and were also elephant-sized herbivores. Bringing those back would be nowhere near as risky as bringing dinosaurs back.