View Full Version : Science Officially Stomps All Hope of Dinosaur Cloning

Fractured Silhouette
October 10th, 2012, 04:25 PM
Life has found a way ... to destroy the dreams of every man, woman, and child.

A wise man once described the universe thusly: "God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs." But unfortunately for prominent chaotician Dr. Ian Malcom, Science, harsh mistress that she is, has recently proven at least part of the sentiment false. As it happens, mankind will likely never bring dinosaurs into the modern age, courtesy of amber-coated mosquitoes or otherwise. Unlike handcrafted dinosaur animatronics, it turns out that DNA just can't stand the test of time.

It was a neat idea and, this particular disappointing DNA factoid aside, a somewhat practical one: An insect drinks the blood of a dinosaur, becomes preserved in petrified tree sap, and lo and behold, millions of years later, we use the same procedure we used on that boring old sheep Dolly to make everyone and their uncle a pet Iguanacolossus. For years, the problem has been finding any DNA that's still intact, and while the scientific community has always had a fairly strong idea that dino-blueprints couldn't weather the ages, some jerk with a PhD in Australia had to go and pinch the proverbial flame of hope into a smoldering ember of despair once and for all.

The study was led by Morten Allentofy and Michael Bunce (who I'm sure are perfectly nice, and probably didn't mean to suck the wind from our dino sails like some sort of joy-sucking vacuum monster) and involved a detailed examination of 158 moa leg bones. Each of the bones were chock-full of DNA, and found within 5 kilometers of each other, preserved in near-identical condition. For years, determining the lifespan of DNA has been difficult, due to multiple variables of decay, including temperate, oxygenation, and microbial attack. With such a consistent sample, however, Allentofy and Bunce were able to finally peg DNA half-life at just 521 years. That means that every 521 years, 50% of the bonds holding the DNA together will have broken, and in 521 more years, half of what's remaining will do the same.

As you half and half, the decay exponentially slows, but not enough to survive the trip from Cretaceous Period to the Age of Honey Boo Boo. Extrapolated out, the longest DNA can survive is a paltry 6.8 million years, a far cry from last time a T-Rex had a pleasant afternoon, probably some 65 million years ago.

"This confirms the widely held suspicion that claims of DNA from dinosaurs and ancient insects trapped in amber are incorrect," said Simon Ho, awesome dinosaur scientist at the University of Sydney Australia. And while these findings basically rule out ever cloning domesticated dinosaurs as the obvious transportation solution to solve the oil crisis, according to Ho, at least "we might be able to break the record for the oldest authentic DNA sequence, which currently stands at about half a million years."

So yeah, there's hope of one day breaking the record for oldest deposit of decaying acid! That's totally awesome, and completely makes up for us never seeing dinosaurs! Right? Right? Come on people, I'm grasping at anything here.


But I wanted a pet velociraptor for my birthday. D:

October 10th, 2012, 04:28 PM
But I waned a pet velociraptor for my birthday. D:

lol :P

October 10th, 2012, 04:39 PM
That's disappointing :(
This would have really been a huge scientific breakthrough if it worked.

October 10th, 2012, 04:40 PM
In all honesty, this doesn't surprise me. Very little organic material can even withstand that time period, and seeing as DNA is made of deoxyribose, phosphate, and nitrogenous bases, it wouldn't be very feasible in the first place. Science, being the fascinating world that it is to me, theoretically proved this impossible years ago. It is merely definitively proving it impossible now. And while it may have been fun to have a pet dinosaur, in all seriousness it wouldn't have been very pragmatic anyway. Difficult to feed, domesticate, etc. Having said all of this, it is still a sad day whenever science empirically proves Jurassic Park to be falsified.

October 10th, 2012, 05:22 PM
Why is it always us that ruin the rest of the worlds fun? What about younger animals? Like the Tasmanian tiger, that only died out about 60 years ago? What about mammoths?

October 10th, 2012, 07:03 PM
Simon Ho, awesome dinosaur scientist at the University of Sydney Australia.

New life goal. Become an awesome dinosaur scientist...

October 10th, 2012, 07:11 PM
New life goal. Become an awesome dinosaur scientist...

I'm with you there.. When do we start? :cool:

October 10th, 2012, 07:27 PM
I'm with you there.. When do we start? :cool:

Well, clearly we have the awesome down. I guess all that's left is to learn a shit ton about dinosaurs!

October 10th, 2012, 07:28 PM
Well, clearly we have the awesome down. I guess all that's left is to learn a shit ton about dinosaurs!

Better start now.

Mortal Coil
October 10th, 2012, 07:42 PM
Oh well, no real-life Jurassic Parks then...

October 11th, 2012, 04:39 AM
Don't worry (or maybe do), they could still genetically engineer dinosaurs.

Here's an old article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/189098.stm) explaining what they could do over a decade ago. I've since seen more stuff about this suggesting they could go much further.

More recent article in the telegraph here (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/dinosaurs/8847499/The-Jurassic-Park-scientist-who-plans-to-turn-a-chicken-into-T-Rex.html).

October 11th, 2012, 01:08 PM
Not exactly a surprise. I never really believed dinosaurs would be able to be brought back.

October 11th, 2012, 05:39 PM
why would they want to clone a dinosaur in the first place?

October 11th, 2012, 05:43 PM
Who hasn't wanted to ride a T-Rex into school?

October 11th, 2012, 07:20 PM
Who hasn't wanted to ride a T-Rex into school?

*Rogue raises his hand

I'm not surprised, though it was a neat idea. Dinosaurs were meant to go extinct, just like many other species.

Makes me think of nature as a trendy diva.

October 11th, 2012, 07:30 PM
Who hasn't wanted to ride a T-Rex into school?

why didn't I think of that? :P

October 11th, 2012, 10:59 PM
Who hasn't wanted to ride a T-Rex into school?
Is a Pterodactyl just as good?