The ABCs Of DNA - Deepstash
The ABCs Of DNA

The ABCs Of DNA

Your DNA is different from everyone else’s. It determines many of the characteristics that define you, like the color of your eyes or whether your hair is straight or curly.

DNA is much easier to find in the “soft parts” of an animal – their organs, blood vessels, nerves, muscle and fat.

But a dinosaur’s soft parts are long gone. They either decomposed or were eaten by another dinosaur.

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Is DNA In The Fossils?

Dinosaur fossils are all that’s left of those prehistoric animals.

Immersed for tens of millions of years in ancient mud, minerals and water, the fossils come from the dinosaur’s so-called “hard parts” – its bones, teeth and skull.

We find dinosaur fossils in the ground, in riverbeds and lakes, and on the sides of cliffs and mountains. Every now and then, someone finds one in their backyard .

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The Trouble With Dino-DNA

But scientists have a big problem when trying to find DNA in dinosaur fossils.

DNA molecules eventually decay. Recent studies show DNA deteriorates and ultimately disintegrates after about 7 million years.

That sounds like a long time, but the last dinosaur died at the end of the Cretaceous Period . That’s more than 65 million years ago.

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Dino-DNA Could Reconstruct A Dinosaur!

Dig up a fossil today, and any dino-DNA within would have long since fallen apart.

That means, as far as scientists know, and even using the best technology available today, it’s not possible to make a dinosaur from its DNA.

Although it’s too late to find dino-DNA, scientists recently found something almost as intriguing.

They discovered DNA fragments in the fossils of Neanderthals and other ancient mammals, such as woolly mammoths .

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The Basic Idea

Although it’s too late to find dino-DNA, scientists recently found something almost as intriguing.

They discovered DNA fragments in the fossils of Neanderthals and other ancient mammals, such as woolly mammoths .

Now that makes sense; those fragments are less than 2 million years old, well before all of the DNA would decay.

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Just for fun, let’s imagine that somehow, sometime in the future, researchers came up with fragments of dinosaur DNA.

With only fragments, scientists still could not make a complete dinosaur.

Instead, they would have to combine the fragments with the DNA of a modern-day animal to create a living organism.

That creature, however, could not be called an actual dinosaur. Rather, it would be a hybrid, a blend of dinosaur and, most likely, a bird or reptile.

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RELATED IDEAS

Dinosaurs ruled the Earth for 175 million years

Dinosaurs first appeared between 247 and 240 million years ago. An extinction event wiped them out 65,5 million years ago, except for the avian dinosaurs.

Scientists think the extinction was likely because of an asteroid impact, chemicals from erupting volcanoes, climate change and other factors.

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Plausibility of Jurassic Park

In 1993, Newsweek ran an article affirming the scientific plausibility of Jurassic Park. They pointed out that two Berkeley scientists announced that they had cloned 40m-year-old bee DNA after finding the insect preserved in amber.

But to replicate a dinosaur genome, you would need billions of DNA building blocks. They could not harvest more than 250. Moreover, the amber-based experiments of the bee DNA finding were likely based on false results. Lastly, no one has ever found any dinosaur DNA since DNA degrades over time.

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The Fate Of The Dinosaurs

A large asteroid struck our planet and killed dinosaurs about 66 million years ago, according to archaeological studies.

This theory is widely accepted, but new research shows that the dinosaur population and the various species were in a state of steep decline many million years before the asteroid hit Mexico.

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