Here's Why Humans Cannot Resurrect Dinosaurs From Fossils Yet
Despite historic finds of fossilized protein in a dinosaur bone, it seems humanity is still far away from resurrecting the dinosaurs.
This was after researchers at the University of Toronto analyzed a newly discovered fossil of a Lufengosaurus dinosaur's rib. According to Science Alert, this dinosaur species is a herbivore with a long neck and lived in the region where southwestern China is located today. The said fossil is said to be around 195 million years old, older thant the fragments of collagen found in a hadrosaur bone's thigh bone last 2009.
Robert Reisz, a specialist in vertebrate paleontology in the Department of Biology at U of T Mississauga and a team member of the research team, said in a press release, "These proteins are the building blocks of animal soft tissues, and it's exciting to understand how they have been preserved."
Reisz further said that the discovery opens new eays in studying the biology of dinosaurs as well as understand how these ancient animals evolved into birds within a span of 10 million years. They are currently analyzing the samples in China and Taiwan.
Due to the age of the samples, the researchers used spectroscopy -- a process utilizing beams to prevent fossil damage -- to identify collagen and other proteins inside the bones.
Sadly, Reisz affirmed that theme parks like those in the "Jurassic Park" movies are still far-off, as the fossils are not enough to provide adequate dinosaur DNA. Scientists believe that dinosaur DNA fully decays in 50 years, which makes finding dinosaur bones very difficult.
According to the University of Toronto study, previous studies needed to dissolve the bone before being able to have results. This is a very invasive approach that destroys the sample and does not allow further usage.
The new approach they used allowed scientists to study the samples without damaging them further. However, the odds of finding anything useful at this point is extremely rare because materials of soft tissues decay faster than bones.
Scientists are still unsure just how come these proteins have lasted for this long. They theorize that hematite from left-over blood has allowed the proteins to stay protected for a prolonged period of time.