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Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by willy.wonka, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. willy.wonka

    willy.wonka Guest

    Thursday, March 24, 2005

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- For more than a century, the study of dinosaurs has been limited to fossilized bones. Now, researchers have recovered 70-million-year-old soft tissue, including what may be blood vessels and cells, from a Tyrannosaurus rex.

    If scientists can isolate proteins from the material, they may be able to learn new details of how dinosaurs lived, said lead researcher Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University.

    "We're doing a lot of stuff in the lab right now that looks promising," she said in a telephone interview.


    It was recovered dinosaur DNA -- the blueprint for life -- that was featured in the fictional recreation of the ancient animals in the book and film "Jurassic Park." Although that was science fiction, Schweitzer said she was not sure if scientists would be able to isolate dinosaur DNA fragments from the fossilized materials.

    The soft tissues were recovered from the thighbone of a T. rex, known as MOR 1125, that was found in a sandstone formation in Montana. The dinosaur was about 18 years old when it died.

    The bone was broken when it was removed from the site. Schweitzer and her colleagues then analyzed the material inside the bone.

    "The vessels and contents are similar in all respects to blood vessels recovered from ... ostrich bone," they reported in a paper bring published Friday in the journal Science.

    Because evidence has accumulated in recent years that modern birds descended from dinosaurs, Schweitzer said she chose to compare the dinosaur remains with those of an ostrich, the largest bird available.

    Brooks Hanson, a deputy editor of Science, noted that there are few examples of soft tissues, except for leaves or petrified wood, that are preserved as fossils, just as there are few discoveries of insects in amber or humans and mammoths in peat or ice.

    Soft tissues are rare in older finds. "That's why in a 70-million-year-old fossil it is so interesting," he said.

    Matthew Carrano, curator of dinosaurs at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, said the discovery was "pretty exciting stuff."

    "You are actually getting into the small-scale biology of the animal, which is something we rarely get the opportunity to look at," said Carrano, who was not part of the research team.

    In addition, he said, it is a huge opportunity to learn more about how fossils are made, a process that is not fully understood.

    Richard A. Hengst of Purdue University said the finding "opens the door for research into the protein structure of ancient organisms, if nothing else. While we think that nature is conservative in how things are built, this gives scientists an opportunity to observe this at the chemical and cellular level." Hengst was not part of the research team.

    John R. Horner of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University, said the discovery is "a fantastic specimen," but probably is not unique. Other researchers might find similarly preserved soft tissues if they split open the bones in their collections, said Horner, a co-author of the paper.

    Most museums, he said, prefer to keep their specimens intact.

    Schweitzer said that after removing the minerals from the specimen, the remaining tissues were soft and transparent and could be manipulated with instruments.

    The bone matrix was stretchy and flexible and there were long structures like blood vessels. She added that what appeared to be individual cells were visible, but could not say if they were blood cells.

    She likened the process to placing a chicken bone in vinegar. The minerals will dissolve, leaving the soft tissues.

    The research was funded by North Carolina State University and grants from N. Myhrvold and the National Science Foundation.


    [​IMG]
    Fibrous regions of the fossil may be elastic soft tissue like ligaments.

    CNN



    simply amazing.....
     
  2. Neskoner

    Neskoner New Jack

    Joined: Jan 6, 2003 Messages: 0 Likes Received: 1
    looks like chicken..
    we need some dinosaurs in our lifes...
     
  3. The Leader

    The Leader Senior Member

    Joined: Jan 23, 2005 Messages: 1,591 Likes Received: 1
    OH MAN this is so fucking cool.
     
  4. Æ°

    Æ° Senior Member

    Joined: May 12, 2002 Messages: 1,974 Likes Received: 6
    I think it's about time dinosaurs rule the earth again.
     
  5. Mistery

    Mistery Senior Member

    Joined: Aug 1, 2004 Messages: 1,468 Likes Received: 1
  6. Tough Love

    Tough Love Senior Member

    Joined: Oct 10, 2004 Messages: 1,894 Likes Received: 2
    All Hail Our New Dinosaur Overlords!
     
  7. oneeightyone

    oneeightyone Senior Member

    Joined: May 23, 2003 Messages: 1,289 Likes Received: 0
    I picture a deserted wasteland where i will end up fighting a dinosaur hand to claw. this is gonna be so badass.

    Jesus Horses.
     
  8. The Leader

    The Leader Senior Member

    Joined: Jan 23, 2005 Messages: 1,591 Likes Received: 1
    I was thinking the same thing. I can't fucking wait.
     
  9. 8onus

    8onus Banned

    Joined: Apr 18, 2004 Messages: 1,052 Likes Received: 1
    this reminds me of the time my buddy took 18 tabs of acid while he was drunk, he tought he saw a teradactile fly by us (i live 18 floors up), he ran in to the bathroom and curled up into the fetal position in the tub....we put in jurassic park and blasted that shit until the curcuit triped.
     
  10. Neskoner

    Neskoner New Jack

    Joined: Jan 6, 2003 Messages: 0 Likes Received: 1
    exactly..time for dino wrestling...
     
  11. sarcasm

    sarcasm Elite Member

    Joined: Oct 30, 2003 Messages: 3,352 Likes Received: 35
    that's fucking awsome.
    but at first i thought you were talking about this kind of soft tissue:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Yellow Feets

    Yellow Feets Senior Member

    Joined: Apr 10, 2004 Messages: 1,958 Likes Received: 0
    Cool. What do we do now?
     
  13. The Leader

    The Leader Senior Member

    Joined: Jan 23, 2005 Messages: 1,591 Likes Received: 1
    18 tabs of acid huh?
     
  14. CRAMPS

    CRAMPS Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 6, 2003 Messages: 1,600 Likes Received: 0
    i saw in a report on that...that they wouldent consider cloning due to fear of jurassic park happening...especially the third one...that one just sucked.
     
  15. The Leader

    The Leader Senior Member

    Joined: Jan 23, 2005 Messages: 1,591 Likes Received: 1
    hahaaha
     
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