Paleontologists have announced the discovery of organic matter in dinosaur fossils 75 million years ago,media reported. The team said they found evidence of the presence of cartilage cells, proteins, chromosomes and even DNA in the fossils, meaning the cells survived much longer than people thought.
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and North Carolina State University are believed to have made the discovery from fossils of shoiacoronary carsdease during the Cretaceous period. These particular specimens are still in their infancy, which means that they are not yet able to leave the nest at the time of death.
The team found evidence of well-preserved cartilage cells in the skull fragments. Two of them are still connected in a way similar to the end of cell division, while the other contains a chromosome-like structure.
The next step for the researchers was to check whether any primitive molecules or proteins could still be preserved, and to do so, the team conducted two detailed analyses of other skulls from the same nest and compared the results with more recent samples of the juvenile skull.
First they used an immune test, which involves a substance that reacts if it detects an antibody of a particular cell type. In this case, the test reacts to antibodies to type II collagen, a protein commonly found in animal cartilage. This suggests that residues from the original protein still exist, the team said.
Understandably, dinosaur samples react much weaker than moths. At the same time, dinosaur dyeing was confined to one place, while the moths were scattered throughout the sample.
In the second test, the team tried to find the dinosaur’s DNA. They isolated individual cartilage cells from the sylph and combined them with DNA fragments with two different stains. Unsurprisingly, this stain ingle is the same as that of modern cells.
The potential significance of finding DNA in these samples is undoubtedly enormous. The current view is that DNA can only be preserved for a maximum of 1 million years, but these fossils are 75 million years old.
“These exciting new results provide further evidence that cells and some of their biomolecules can persist in depth,” said study co-author Alida Bailleul. We hope this study will encourage scientists studying ancient DNA to push the limits and use new methods to uncover the secrets of all unknown molecules in ancient tissues. “
But the findings may not be true to other scientists, who have been in the same situation earlier. Still, the researchers in the new study appear to have pre-empted. They point out that because type II collagen is not produced by microorganisms, bacterial biofilms do not cause the test to be positive. Biofilms also produce very different patterns in DNA staining tests than people see here. Finally, the team said that the comparison with the moth was made in a completely different laboratory, so there was no possibility of cross-contamination.
Although Jurassic Park is still a fiction kingdom, the possibility that dinosaur DNA and organic molecules may exist for tens of millions of years is fascinating, allowing people to learn more about these fascinating ancient creatures.
The study was published in National Science Review.