April 12, 2007

T Rex Gene Sequence Found!

Can't you just picture my inner and not-so-hidden geekself jumping up and down with glee over this? T Rex genetic material found in preserved bone, courtesy Randolph E. Schmid of the AP:

... While dinosaur bones have long been studied, "it's always been assumed that preservation does not extend to the cellular or molecular level," said Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University.

It had been thought that some proteins could last a million years or more, but not to the age of the dinosaurs, she said.

So, when she was able to recover soft tissue from a T. rex bone found in Montana in 2003 she was surprised, Schweitzer said.

... "Most people believe that birds evolved from dinosaurs, but that's all based on the architecture of the bones," said [John M. Asara of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.] "This allows you to get the chance to say, 'Wait, they really are related because their sequences are related.' We didn't get enough sequences to definitively say that, but what sequences we got support that idea." ...

They also found collagen that closely manages that found in chicken bones and other proteins that match different species of chickens and amphibians. All of this together is rightly going to be considered a significant vindication of the theory that birds are the living descendants of the dinosaurs.

Somewhere, a Discovery Institute hack responsible for promoting Intelligent Design creationist theory is weeping. Their job just became a heck of a lot harder. That gives me the kind of big, cheery grin that my mother might have warned me to worry about my face freezing into.

Posted by natasha at April 12, 2007 12:09 PM | Science | Technorati links |

Time to buy an island so we can start growing the things. I want my own pet t. rex.

Posted by: mike at April 12, 2007 12:56 PM

Awww, whosa wittle super carnivore?

Posted by: natasha at April 12, 2007 07:46 PM