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Hadrosaur Proteins Sequenced

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the don't-tell-hammond dept.

Biotech 81

jd writes "In a follow-up study to the one on proteins found in a T. Rex bone, the team responsible for the T. Rex study sequenced proteins found in an 80-million year old Hadrosaur fossil. According to the article, the proteins found confirm the results of the T. Rex study, proving that what was found in T. Rex was not a result of modern contamination, as had been claimed by skeptics, but was indeed the genuine thing: real dinosaur protein. Furthermore, despite the new fossil being 12 million years older, they claim they got more out — eight collagen peptides and 149 amino acids from four different samples. This, they say, places the Hadrosaur in the same family as T. Rex and Ostriches, but that not enough was recovered to say just how close or distant the relationship was."

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Uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27845615)

How close does this leap make us to cloning dinosaurs which then break loose in an orgy of violence and destruction a la Jurassic Park [amazon.com] ?

Re:Uh-oh (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27845793)

Not very, I'm afraid. On the plus side, it should allow the Large Hadrosaur Collider to produce an earth devouring black hole with gigantic teeth and a tough scaly hide.

Re:Uh-oh (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27846213)

If you get two of them, put fake red noses on them and slam them together really hard, you might see the higgs-bozo particle.

hmm. I know there is a shorter way to get to that punch line.

Re:Uh-oh (2, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27849147)

Why waste money on the fake red noses rather than just use Bozosaurs to begin with?

Re:Uh-oh (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#27852131)

We haven't yet sequenced wormholes so that shorter route will have to wait for another generation.

MMMM - Tastes like chicken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27845639)

Or do chicken taste like Hadrosaur / T-Rex?

Can't wait for my McHadrosaur burger with a side of fries and coke.

Re:MMMM - Tastes like chicken? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27845775)

Actually ostrich tastes and looks like beef.

One of the best steaks I have had was medium rare ostrich.

Re:MMMM - Tastes like chicken? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27849093)

Actually ostrich tastes and looks like beef.

Naturally lean and flavorful beef, no less.

I miss Kroger; I'd have ostrich steak once a week when I lived near one.

Re:MMMM - Tastes like chicken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27849179)

Colbert on Ewok: "They're right, it does taste like Wookie!"

Re:MMMM - Tastes like chicken? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27874997)

It might taste meatier than chicken or turkey but it's doesn't taste like beef.

Great (5, Funny)

tdp252 (519328) | more than 5 years ago | (#27845641)

Maybe we should start using stimulus money to build some type of theme park, maybe on a remote island.

Re:Great (0)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27845751)

Yeah - and any missing DNA can just be taken from common frog species!

Re:Great (5, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 5 years ago | (#27845823)

Yeah - and any missing DNA can just be taken from common frog species!

Whatever it takes to get two of them. Once we have those, we can get to the REAL science. Large Hadrosaur Collider.

Re:Great (4, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27845965)

Large Hadrosaur Collider.

<blush> If you look close, I don't think they are actually fighting.</blush>

Yow! (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27847081)

Hadrosaur porn!

Re:Yow! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27849051)

As per book - one of them a transsexual?

Re:Yow! (1)

myrrdyn (562078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859109)

sorry, wrong mod

Re:Yow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855717)

Hardosaur!

Re:Great (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27846841)

I need that as a T-shirt, like, yesterday.

*bold*MOTHERFUCKING LARGE HADROSAUR COLLIDER*bold*

And then pictures of a motherfucking large hadrosaur collider.

Re:Great (2, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27847015)

Yeah, that will TOTALLY attract the chicks!

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27848557)

The ones it does attract though you will know are just the right type of goofy.

Re:Great (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27849041)

If you fill in the currently missing information about Hadrosaur DNA with frog DNA, the only thing you will get will be a nasty frog with several Hadrosaur proteins.

Re:Great (0, Redundant)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27850659)

It was a reference to Jurassic park - maybe I misquoted, but I think that was their solution for any parts of the DNA that could not be extracted from the mosquito encased in hardened amber.

Re:Great (5, Funny)

Shinmizu (725298) | more than 5 years ago | (#27845847)

I'm sure there's something in Tesla's lab that we can scrounge up to make an instant cloning device for time savings.

Re:Great (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27845877)

Perhaps they could be used to make genuine T. Rex protein shakes?

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27846225)

Cuba?

Re:Great (4, Funny)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 5 years ago | (#27846271)

Yes. And I think they should also fund research into an awesome 3D operating system called "UNIX", in which it's primary function would be the unlocking/locking of building doors.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27847065)

Best user interface EVER.

Re:Great (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#27849723)

To be fair, it is also used for projecting DNA base pair mappings onto any raptors that happen to make it into the room.

Re:Great (2, Funny)

gijoel (628142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27846801)

Jurassic Park is frightning in the dark
All the dinosaurs are running wild
Someone shut the fence off in the rain
I admit it's kinda eerie
But this proves my chaos theory
And I don't think I'll be coming back again
On no

Re:Great (1)

tj2 (54604) | more than 5 years ago | (#27850483)

Jurassic Park is frightning in the dark
All the dinosaurs are running wild
Someone shut the fence off in the rain
I admit it's kinda eerie
But this proves my chaos theory
And I don't think I'll be coming back again
On no


Well done, sir.

Not likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27847325)

This president believes in Science. OTH, W and reagan were your best bet for such an idea.

Re:Great (1)

goltzc (1284524) | more than 5 years ago | (#27847881)

Maybe we should start using stimulus money to build some type of theme park, maybe on a remote island.

We'll call it Billy and the Clonasaurus Park!

Tastes like chicken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27845653)

Burp

Campaign for Real Semantic (4, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27845665)

Respect to fossil biologists for tough work - it's like putting together jigsaw puzzle that's missing majority of its pieces. That being the case, I wish they choose their terminology, like the term "prove", bit more judiciously, lest us plebs gets misled.

Re:Campaign for Real Semantic (-1, Troll)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27845721)

Mmm. If they're anything like archeologists using radio carbon dating, then the trick is to just keep sending the sample back to the lab until you get the results that you wanted, or you run out of funding. Just so you know.

Re:Campaign for Real Semantic (0, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27846071)

mod -1 clueless.

perhaps -1 WTF are you talking about?

Re:Campaign for Real Semantic (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27846079)

Could you elaborate?

Bitter archeologist/ex-archeologist? Science cynic? Earth couldn't possibly be more than 6,000 years old? Lab tech coerced by grant-hungry archeologists?

Re:Campaign for Real Semantic (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 5 years ago | (#27851351)

I do find the discussion interesting--but I also did a quick google search for "lab results skewed radio dating" (without the quotes) and found this: abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/nuclear.pdf which would seem to indicate that there is error possible and even likely if it is not properly addressed in analyzing tests. Furthermore, I have also recently read (can't remember location though) that uranium half-lifes in quartz crystals point to a major volcanic upheaval in North America in the last 10,000 years but this apparently did not match prevailing opinions on the specific location. Sorry I don't have further info (a quick google search netted me a 1962 abstract from the IUCr but what I remembered was in the last ten years).

Re:Campaign for Real Semantic (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28023999)

You say "bitter", I say "seasoned". It's an open secret that carbon dating is unreliable until it gives you the predetermined date, at which point it's conclusive.

Re:Campaign for Real Semantic (3, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#27846359)

That being the case, I wish they choose their terminology, like the term "prove", bit more judiciously, lest us plebs gets misled.

I'm impressed with the work they've done, but based on my own priors I'd like to see the work replicated by a different team before I'm willing to consider claims of proof as being very plausible.

As it stands, this work means, "The same people did the same things with a different sample and got similar results." Well and good, but not nearly so convincing as "Different people did similar things with different samples and got similar results."

GLHV (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27845849)

This is great news for our Large Hadrosaur Collider project!

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear (-1, Redundant)

stillnotelf (1476907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27845889)

They really should be looking for mosquitoes in amber, not meat left on fossil bones. DNA sequences really would be more useful than protein. They can fill in the gaps in the DNA with sex-changing amphibian DNA! What could possibly go wrong?

The egg is the key. (1)

reporter (666905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27845951)

A while ago, my local supermarket was selling ostrich eggs. The size of the egg [wikimedia.org] is amazing. It is about the size of a soccer ball.

Then, upon seeing this Slashdot article, I finally understand. The ostrich is a very distant relative of the dinosaurs.

One ostrich egg could probably provide 10 servings of scrambled eggs -- and enough cholesterol to kill a gorilla.

Re:The egg is the key. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27846123)

> The size of the egg [wikimedia.org] is amazing.
> It is about the size of a soccer ball.

A very small soccer ball!

A regulation soccer ball is 10 inches or 25 cm in diameter.

Ostrich egg is 5-6 inches or 12-15 cm diameter.

Re:The egg is the key. (1)

Talgrath (1061686) | more than 5 years ago | (#27848901)

Yeah, but children's soccer balls can be much smaller than regulation.

Re:The egg is the key. (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27851469)

Yeah, but children's soccer balls can be much smaller than regulation.

Even a Size 3 soccer ball (typical for the youngest age groups) is about 7-1/4 to 7-1/2 inches in diameter, which is substantially larger than a 5-6 inch ostrich egg.

Re:The egg is the key. (3, Insightful)

mog007 (677810) | more than 5 years ago | (#27846285)

Every bird is a distant relative of the dinosaurs... not just the ostrich.

Re:The egg is the key. (2, Informative)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27846591)

Dietary cholesterol actually doesn't affect the body the way once thought (google around if you like)

Probably the only way cholesterol could kill a gorilla is if it were dropped into a vat of it :)

Re:The egg is the key. (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27847439)

Either that woman's frail little hands are just proportionally gigantic, or that egg is only softball sized.

Re:The egg is the key. (2, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27849209)

You need to use the correct professional units, such as VW beetles, or Libraries of Congress. None of this soccer ball business.

But how does it taste? (0)

effigiate (1057610) | more than 5 years ago | (#27845991)

Mmmmm...collagen peptides. Does it make a tasty cake with mint frosting?

Re:But how does it taste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27846149)

Yes, but only if I can gnaw on counsellor Deanna Troi while I eat my cake

Re:But how does it taste? (0)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27847821)

Why isn't there a +1, geeky reference mod?

Re:But how does it taste? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27850103)

> But how does it taste?

Like chicken.

Etc Etc (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27846109)

Hadrosaur collider...sigh...Jurassic Park...yawn...dinosaur burger...wake me up when someone makes an original joke.

Re:Etc Etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27846543)

Hadrosaur collider...sigh...Jurassic Park...yawn...dinosaur burger...wake me up when someone makes an original joke.

Good morning. [slashdot.org]

You think that's bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855505)

Imagine being a great dinosaur, passing away, waiting in the mud for 40 million years, and the descendants of proto-marmots dug you out of the ground to play with your fluids.

Be nice to the lesser critters.

Missing DNA (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27846119)

Can't they just fill in the missing DNA with frog DNA and then clone only males? That way reproduction won't be a problem, and we can maintain a small, secure island of cloned dinosaur species.

Anonymous Coward (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27846663)

Oh ho ho.

What they left out of the article was *why* the skepticism. Here it is.

These tissue types can only last hundreds of thousands of years, tops. So ... either it's fake, or there's some unknown preservation process at work here, or -

These specimens are not millions of years old.

That would square with the many puzzling astronomical discoveries which indicate "too young" objects (such as active planets and young comets), but cause havoc with the popular concept of how old the solar system is.

Heh heh. I love it!

Re:Anonymous Coward (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27847231)

Things decay for a (chemical) reason. Very low temperatures, absence of oxygen, water, etc. can simply stop chemical processes. I have no idea of the circumstances of this find, but it seems entirely plausible that exceptional things can happen in rare situations.

This isn't a defying-the-laws-of-physics thing, it's more "we don't know exactly".

Re:Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855183)

Nah, it's because the dinosaur is likely just a few thousand years old, tops. Noah's flood covers 'em all good. They've even found unfossilized dinosaur bone in the arctic regions.

Re:Anonymous Coward (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27848647)

Oh ho ho.

What they left out of the article was *why* the skepticism. Here it is.

These tissue types can only last hundreds of thousands of years, tops. So ... either it's fake, or there's some unknown preservation process at work here, or -

These specimens are not millions of years old.

That would square with the many puzzling astronomical discoveries which indicate "too young" objects (such as active planets and young comets), but cause havoc with the popular concept of how old the solar system is.

Heh heh. I love it!

You seem to have failed to grasp the concept of "proving a negative".

The only way we "know" (to use your quaint term) that "[t]hese tissue types can only last hundreds of thousands of years, tops" is basically because we've never found older ones.

Until we do.

Which it looks like we've done.

Re:Anonymous Coward (4, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | more than 5 years ago | (#27850359)

These tissue types can only last hundreds of thousands of years, tops. So ... either it's fake, or there's some unknown preservation process at work here, or -

Yeah, this is why there's so little known of the actual tissues of critters that old. But it's really an example of the "long tail" statistical phenomenon. Proteins, DNA, etc usually disappear pretty quickly, but there's no sharp cutoff age at which all samples instantly disintegrate into their constituent atoms. The decay is an exponential process, and no matter what age you pick, there's a small nonzero probability that there are fossils that old, until you get back to an age when there were no "tissues" on Earth. A very few fossils have been found that contain proteins that date to tens of millions of years. The story a couple of years ago about such a T. Rex fossil was an example that got lots of attention, mostly because it's such a popular dinosaur. But there aren't many people studying such fossils, because we haven't found very many of them.

The T. Rex tissues survived because they were inside intact bones buried in a place that has been dry for some 70 million years. The overlying material was never heavy enough to crack the bones, and the internal humidity never got high enough for any embedded bacterial spores to come to life. This is highly unlikely, but in a few places it has happened. Nobody knows whether we'll find more, though. It's possible that we've found the only such fossils that exist on the planet. Or there may be more buried in Montana, where both of these fossils were found. That area has been dry for a rather long time.

People are also considering the possibility of finding some very old frozen fossils under the Antarctic ice. But if they exist, they're in places that are sorta hard to get at. And the researchers want to be extra careful, because they expect that there will also be living spores (and maybe seeds) there, too. They don't want anyone doing the digging until they can be certain that the samples won't be contaminated by surface bacteria. But the digging (or more likely drilling) will probably be tried within the next decade or two.

149 amino acids? (3, Informative)

jc42 (318812) | more than 5 years ago | (#27847185)

Wow! Human DNA contains only 20 amino acids. (Actually, there is a 21st, but it's extremely rare.) I wonder what the Hadrosaur was doing with so many of them.

It sounds like our world really lost a lot at the K-T impact event.

(And isn't it wonderful how ambiguous the English language can be, especially in the hands of journalists. ;-)

Re:149 amino acids? (2)

Camel Pilot (78781) | more than 5 years ago | (#27847855)

Human DNA contains only 20 amino acids.

DNA contains amino acids?

Now come on...

I have been helping my kid in high school biology lately and you are messing with what little understanding I have.

Re:149 amino acids? (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27849373)

Hmmm, well, most people would accept the phrase "This CD contains music." More precisely it contains a binary encoding of sound wave samples, which, when put together with the proper device, will form music. And more precisely for DNA, it contains base4 encodings of amino acids, which, when put together with the proper device, will form a protein. But, I still don't like saying that DNA contains amino acids or proteins. Since music isn't a physical thing, it's not the same thing. Amino acids are real things, so saying 20 of them are contained in DNA implies that they're physically in there! A more apt analogy than my music CD would be a data CD with car blueprints. Nobody would ever say the CD contains a car, though theoretically if put in the proper machine it would create a car. It's extra-inexcusable from somebody being critical over a perceived imprecise wording!

And as for the moaning about imprecise language: "Firefox just said it downloaded 57 Kb, but that's impossible, there are only 256 values a byte can hold, how could it download 57 (binary)thousand of them??"

Re:149 amino acids? (4, Informative)

rnaiguy (1304181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27848139)

As noted, the correct statement is that DNA (of all known organisms) directly encodes exactly 20 different amino acids. There can be a few more, but they are not directly encoded, but added/modified later.
Also, I don't see the ambiguity. If someone found a new manuscript of Shakespeare's that consisted of 10,000 letters, would you complain that the English language only has 26 letters?

Re:149 amino acids? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27848945)

In other words, these 20 amino acids today replace a system of 149? Basically, the modern set is more refined and require less complexity to achieve the same level of functionality. Am I getting that right???

Re:149 amino acids? (3, Informative)

rnaiguy (1304181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27849227)

nope, same 20 amino acids now as then, they were just able to identify a sequence that was 149 amino acids long. however, you bring up a good point. I wonder if their experiment was designed to detect amino acids that no longer exist in modern animals. However, the fact that the same amino acids are shared across all living organisms known today (which diverged billions of years ago) makes it unlikely that there were different amino acids in animals 65 million years ago.

Re:149 amino acids? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855251)

It sounds like our world really lost a lot at the K-T impact event.

I thought it was because of the Deccan Traps this week.

Proof? (1)

saforrest (184929) | more than 5 years ago | (#27848033)

According to the article, the proteins found confirm the results of the T. Rex study, proving that what was found in T. Rex was not a result of modern contamination, as had been claimed by skeptics, but was indeed the genuine thing: real dinosaur protein.

"Prove" is pretty strong word. What evidence is there that these hadrosaur proteins are just not _more_ modern contamination?

Re:Proof? (1)

saforrest (184929) | more than 5 years ago | (#27848147)

Quoting myself:

"Prove" is pretty strong word. What evidence is there that these hadrosaur proteins are just not _more_ modern contamination?

Quoting the article (emphasis mine):

The authors hope the findings [...] prove that their T. rex discovery "was not a unique occurrence," co-author John Asara, director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Mass Spectrometry Core and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, said in a statement.

To submitter: "proof" and "hope of proof" are rather different things. If you don't agree, I'm offering an aspirational proof of the Riemann Hypothesis for a very good price!

Re:Proof? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27851535)

To submitter: "proof" and "hope of proof" are rather different things.

But, really, "hope of proof", even if it is what is in TFA, is an understatement. The results clearly do prove "that their T. rex discovery 'was not a unique occurence'," even if it is less clear that they prove that the T. rex findings were not modern contamination.

After all, if it is repeated in a different context, whether or not it is meaningful, it is not "unique".

Re:Proof? (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 5 years ago | (#27848613)

It's not proven until indepently confirmed multiple times. The researchers themselves don't use the 'p' word.

co-author John Asara said : "This is the second dinosaur species we've examined and helps verify that our first discovery was not just a one-hit wonder."

Deniers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27849533)

I wonder how the dinosaur deniers will take this. If they think God put fossils in the ground to test their faith, then they really must not like this new evidence

Re:Deniers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27851107)

They don't deny dinosaurs... they deny the timeline.

with faith, (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 5 years ago | (#27869383)

You can believe anything. So you don't need to make up your own plausible explanation (or better: implausible), you just declare you don't believe that yet, and when some other nutjob has come up with a far-right field explanantion, you start to believe that one, because the guy goes to the same church as you do. In the end, your peer group/tribe is more important thzat reason, especially for unreasonable people.
Akkatjoemabh!

Google (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27850053)

When can google use these to mow their grass. `Goats are Ok, but these should taste like chicken.

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 5 years ago | (#27851799)

That being the case, I wish they choose their terminology, like the term "prove", bit more judiciously, lest us plebs gets misled. I'm impressed with the work they've done, but based on my own priors I'd like to see the work replicated by a different team before I'm willing to consider claims of proof as being very plausible.As it stands, this work means, "The same people did the same things with a different sample and got similar results." Well and good, but not nearly so convincing as "Different people di

hadrosaurs were discovered in new jersey (1)

ifeelswine (1546221) | more than 5 years ago | (#27854337)

the whole species went extinct when they were all asked, simultaneously, "what exit?"
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