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Scientists Reveal the Healing of 'Dino-sores' in 150-Million-Year-Old Predator

May 07, 2014 12:51 PM EDT
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Scientists used state-of-the-art imaging techniques to examine the cracks, fractures and breaks in the bones of a 150 million-year-old predatory dinosaur.

The research, published in the Royal Society journal Interface, aims to shed light on the healing process of these massive dinosaurs when they roamed the Earth.

Using synchrotron-imaging techniques, The University of Manchester researchers examined these old bones, which occasionally harbor evidence of trauma, sickness and the subsequent signs of healing.

"Using synchrotron imaging, we were able to detect astoundingly dilute traces of chemical signatures that reveal not only the difference between normal and healed bone, but also how the damaged bone healed," Phil Manning, one of the paper's authors, said in a statement.

It used to be that fossil diagnosis was done by simply inspecting the dinosaur bones and sometimes via slicing through them to unveil their healing secrets. But with this innovative technology that utilizes light brighter than 10 billion Suns, researchers can still reveal dinosaurs' means of injury recovery while preserving its fossil.

It seemed, researchers noticed, that dinosaurs almost shrugged off impacts of massive trauma - fossil bones often showed a multitude of grizzly healed injuries, most of which would prove fatal to humans if not medically treated.

"It seems dinosaurs evolved a splendid suite of defense mechanisms to help regulate the healing and repair of injuries," Manning elaborated. "The ability to diagnose such processes some 150 million years later might well shed new light on how we can use Jurassic chemistry in the 21st Century."

He continued: "The chemistry of life leaves clues throughout our bodies in the course of our lives that can help us diagnose, treat and heal a multitude of modern-day ailments. It's remarkable that the very same chemistry that initiates the healing of bone in humans also seems to have followed a similar pathway in dinosaurs."

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