The Implications Involving Dinosaur DNA
Of course it was the movie Jurassic Park who seemed to coin the phrase “Dino DNA.” This movie gave the public the thought that, a) it is possible to find dinosaur DNA and b) we can clone dinosaurs from this DNA. This essay is not going to pick apart Jurassic Park’s scientific value, however it will share the current knowledge and information on dinosaur DNA. The discovery of DNA is important because it may uncover different bits of information. The idea of cloning dinosaurs, especially at this point is out of the question. It is really hard to clone living animals today, with full DNA and genome strands, we can’t even think about recreating animals millions of years ago.
DNA is a protein molecule that is proven to contain the genetic sequence of any particular species. Every species has a different type of DNA. This is how we differentiate between different species today. Humans have different DNA than rats. Rats have different DNA than mice, etc, etc. However, we know that DNA hold-up needs a living body to keep “alive.” Therefore, DNA decomposes with soft tissue, as the animal decays over time. For the most part of dinosaur studies, finding DNA from these dinosaurs was unheard of because dinosaurs lived over 65 million years ago. Until recently, it was previously thought that DNA, under optimal circumstances, could perhaps be preserved for only about 10,000 years. This is long after dinosaurs roamed the Earth (Pittman, 2004).
Some research has reported finding insects fossilized in amber, containing species such as a termite (30 million years ago), and a weevil from approximately 130 million years ago. These are extraordinary findings, but of course disputed. The age of these insects is always in question, and the DNA itself is being under suspicion of being a modern contaminate. When research is conducted now, it is very carefully done, to eliminate these suspicions. Of course any estimation of time are speculations, research can only work with educated guesses (Pittman, 2004).
Now we come to an important point in the road. What does this have to do with dinosaur DNA? Recent studies have been showing convincing evidence that they may have found fossilized dinosaur proteins. A great fossilized Tyrannosaurus Rex has been discovered in the early 90’s, and has been studied since then. A remarkable discovery of possible intact red blood cells has been found. The protein in the red blood cells, mainly hemoglobin, was the target of research. If this protein has been preserved, it may help prove DNA can hold. Reports say, under the testing conditions, that the heme group, which is the iron portion of hemoglobin, has been found, but not necessarily hemoglobin. A strict test on experimental rats was done for further inquiry. The test was to see if the animals injected with the T-Rex hemoglobin would create an immune system response. These rats, did however, test...