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article imageJurassic Park takes a step back

By Tim Sandle     Sep 14, 2013 in Science
Any idea to recreate a dinosaur from extracted DNA has taken a step backwards. Researchers have found that extracting dinosaur DNA from insects embedded in ancient amber is probably impossible.
Some ideas, partly science fact and partly science fiction, have been circulating over the past few years that it might be possible to actually recover dinosaur DNA from insects embedded in millennia-old tree sap (amber). It now appears, according to a research team at Manchester University, that it will not be possible to achieve this any time in the near future.
A research team led by biologist David Penney used next-generation sequencing to search for ancient DNA in two 10,000-year-old stingless bees that were preserved in copal, tree resin that had not yet fully hardened into amber. The preserved insects had been found in Colombia. The researchers did not recover any viable ancient DNA. The research has been reported in the journal PLOS One.
Discussing the lack of success with The Verge, Professor Penny said: "Because these fossils were captured in amber, there was a possibility that their DNA might resist degradation and be available to extract. Unfortunately, we've shown that this is not the case. If we cannot pull DNA from copal, then we absolutely cannot do it from amber either."
This would seem to indicate that no one will be constructing a 'Jurassic Park' anytime soon.
More about jurassic park, Dinosaurs, Dna, Genetics
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