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Scientists Find Soft Tissue in T-Rex Fossil

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the and-it-actually-tasted-like-chicken dept.

Science 978

douglips writes "Reuters is running a story about a shocking development in paleontology: A T-Rex thigh bone fossil was reluctantly broken to fit in a transport helicopter, and inside soft tissue was found. It appears to include blood vessels and bone cells. Scientists hope to isolate proteins, and perhaps even DNA."

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Day 6 (-1, Offtopic)

Terri Schaivo (870568) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039061)

Today, my meal consisted of my own muscle mass. It was ok, but it would have been better with a Caesar salad and a nice Chardonnay as a starter. Also, a baked potato, some green beans and maybe a hardy Cab would have really rounded out the main course. Now it might seem like I am complaining, but I must also point out that my muscle was a little to rare for me, I'm more of a medium-well type of gal. Plus, would it hurt to get a little coffee and dessert around here? I am a goddamned fucking celebrity you know.

Anyway, tomorrow - I think I am going to have the liver and bunions. I've been dying to try them.

malda is antichrist (0, Offtopic)

hildi (868839) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039063)

ok mayube not

Note to non-subscribers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039064)

You just missed CmdrTaco attempting to post a dupe to a story from 4.5 hours ago! Last minute save, Taco!

Let the cloning begin! (5, Funny)

mycro (633791) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039067)

Let the cloning begin!

When I get my T-Rex... (5, Funny)

a gremlin (858413) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039150)

those damn SUVs better watch out. Yeah, who owns the road now %^*@$!

Indeed! (-1, Offtopic)

cablepokerface (718716) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039161)

Indeed!

Re:Let the cloning begin! (2, Funny)

MudButt (853616) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039214)

Let the cloning begin!

CRAP! I just bought a new Rottweiler for home security too!

Let the cloning begin! (4, Funny)

Sebadude (680162) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039250)

Let the cloning begin! ...

Re:Let the cloning begin! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039277)

>Let the cloning begin!

Great idea! I mean, what could possiblye go wrong? Oops, that's possibly. Heh, that's the first thing that's ever gone wrong...

Jurassic Park (1)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039068)

Great! No need to muck around with extracting blood from mosquitoes in amber and what not.

Re:Jurassic Park (1)

hysma (546540) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039136)

Exactly what I was thinking :)

Now we just to find a living female T-Rex so the current known cloning process can begin.

Re:Jurassic Park (4, Interesting)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039186)

What if they added bits and pieces of DNA to that of other animals, gradually creating a species that is more and more like a T-Rex? Eventually, they would have a creature that could carry a pure T-Rex embryo.

Re:Jurassic Park (1)

mbrewthx (693182) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039208)

Not really just create an artificial womb to develop the egg. Then when the egg is ready to be put in an artificial T-Rex nest use robotic arms to turn the egg under a sun lamp.

I'd pay to ride on the watch the T-rex egg gestate ride.

Re:Jurassic Park (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039176)

What people don't realize is that we are the ones who created the dinosaurs the first time around. You see, time flows in an infinite circle that constantly repeats itself. We are about to create the dinosaurs again. There won't be many of them, and they will die off. The fossils we are finding are from the last iteration of this cycle. And it's happening yet again.

Xenozoic Tales... (1)

Mad Bad Rabbit (539142) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039199)

Yay! Now we can make the future of Xenozoic Tales [amazon.com] (aka "Cadillacs and Dinosaurs") a reality...

Uh oh. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039070)

Where's Jeff Goldblum when you need him?

Re:Uh oh. (1)

NRP128 (710672) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039127)

Welcome...to Jurassic Park...

Re:Uh oh. (2, Funny)

TheWhaleShark (414271) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039155)

Pfft. All we need to do is a find a girl that knows how to use Unix.

Shit.

Re:Uh oh. (4, Informative)

ThogScully (589935) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039275)

"This is Unix. I know this [sgi.com] !"

Re:Uh oh. (1)

dweezil-n0xad (743070) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039169)

Oooh! Ahhh! That's how it always starts. Then later there's running and screaming.

Re:Uh oh. (1)

carpe_noctem (457178) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039226)

He tried to taste the meat and got kicked off the helicopter. Recent media reports seem to indicate that he's stumbling his way around the desert trying to find anyone willing to give him a ride to the nearest gala banquet.

Re:Uh oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039290)

Right here [jeffgoldbl...oupoop.com] .

so who gets to patent T-Rex DNA? (3, Insightful)

kfractal (107548) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039072)

just curious.

Re:so who gets to patent T-Rex DNA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039228)

Microsoft already did

Thank god for Jurassic Park... (4, Funny)

Goronmon (652094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039073)

Now we know that when the cloned T-Rex escapes, if you stand perfectly still it won't see you!

Re:Thank god for Jurassic Park... (5, Funny)

mrtroy (640746) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039105)

Now we know that when the cloned T-Rex escapes, if you stand perfectly still it won't see you!

Also, do NOT run directly to the shitter.

Re:Thank god for Jurassic Park... (1)

robertlankford (857091) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039132)

Yeah, sorry dude, but that's totally disputed in The Lost World. Sequel's rules always take precident -- see Star Wars for reference.

Re:Thank god for Jurassic Park... (1)

Goronmon (652094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039159)

I was going more for a wider audience than for accuracy with that comment, haha ;)

Re:Thank god for Jurassic Park... (1, Redundant)

Mr. Cancelled (572486) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039175)

Don't forget the other important lesson from that movie: Never hide in the outhouse.

You may have to go, and can argue that the outhouse is the appropriate place to be in the event of a T-Rex attack, but don't do it! Bad things will happen!!

Re:Thank god for Jurassic Park... (5, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039230)

As much as I trust TV and the essentially random guesses made by people about something that has been dead for millions of years, I am not sure I want to stand still while being chased by a really big meat-eating dinosaur unless I am reeeaaally extra sure that it won't see me. On the upside I only have to run past the other people who have seen Jurassic Park and are standing still to test if this theory is true or not. If it runs past them I simply freeze, otherwise I can escape while it chomps on the first few unlucky souls to hold still.

I for one.... (5, Funny)

CoffeeJedi (90936) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039074)

hail our new cloned-DNA T-rex overlor-*CHOMP*

News! (3, Interesting)

razmaspaz (568034) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039075)

Now this is news. I know we are not gonna get any cool theme parks out of this, but this is pretty cool stuff.

Steven Spielberg? (0, Redundant)

turtled (845180) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039076)

Insert Juraasic Park DNA comment here!

Intersting!

Re:Steven Spielberg? (1, Informative)

Ty (15982) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039131)

It was a book by Michael Crichton before Spielberg decided to ruin it on the big screen.

Lessons (5, Funny)

odano (735445) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039083)

If I said it once, I've said it a thousand times...

Modern helicopters are just too small!

Re:Lessons (1)

uujjj (752925) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039121)

yeah but this time we're glad

Precedent (5, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039084)

This is not the first identification of soft protein laden tissue that has been extracted from dinosaur tissue as Mary Schweitzer at North Carolina State University has extracted these tissues from other tissues [newscientist.com] as well, so there is a precedent.

Of course getting actual DNA from these tissues will be a long shot due to its fragile nature, but protein sequence may prove very informative in letting us define exactly where genetic lineages have gone over evolution.

Re:Precedent (1)

grahams (5366) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039279)

She's the one that wrote the paper cited in this article.

Now all we need is a frog and a crazy billionaire. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039086)

Jurassic Park here we come!

as long as they weren't working for inGen.... (-1, Redundant)

markana (152984) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039094)

San Diego is safe...

Re:as long as they weren't working for inGen.... (1)

Kartik3 (590836) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039153)

Yes, The Whale's Vagina has once again steered clear from any and all harm! Just as long as California doesn't split off from the U.S. anytime soon...

Ask Slashdot story reject (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039096)

Aww fuckit. I need an answer.

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Which cellular carriers are the most geek-friendly?

Which carriers [gizmodo.com] are least likely to cut out features we'd like to retain?

Which carriers still use SIM chips?

Which carriers allow you to use data cables to offload pictures from their camera phones as opposed to forcing you to pay an extra fee to email the pictures to yourself?

Browsing the individual carriers' webpages and digging through a myriad of FAQs isn't yielding much in the way of answers.

Re:Ask Slashdot story reject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039209)

Someone please mod OT. Thanks.

Re:Ask Slashdot story reject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039229)

Someone please mod OT. Thanks.

Re:Ask Slashdot story reject (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039218)

All telecom companies are criminal enterprises. Don't buy a cell phone, at least not if you live in America.

It is cheaper to get licenses 5 watt hand held transmitters. A ham license is really easy to get these days, no morse code needed.

Re:Ask Slashdot story reject (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039264)

I use T-Mobile currently. The biggest limitation seems to be coverage area. You can get most any service you want if you're willing to fork over the monthly fees. Even then, T-Mobile isn't as bad fee-wise as, say, Verizon.

All the current T-mobile phones I've seen (including my own) use SIM cards.

Data transfer methods vary by phone model. I have a Nokia 3660. It doesn't have a physical PC connection as far as I know (it certainly didn't come with one), but you can transfer files to your PC with no problem over infrared or Bluetooth (you can probably find a USB Bluetooth dongle pretty easily) and software you can get free from Nokia's site. I assume pretty much any Symbian OS phone (which includes all Nokia Series 60 phones) should offer similar options. Also of note is that my 3660 has a MMC slot, too, for memory expansion.

I don't subscribe to any mobile web access plan, but a friend who also uses T-Mobile does on his Windows Mobile 2003 Smartphone-based phone, and he seems to like it. He seems to have no real problems transferring files between his PC and phone. He also uses an IM client called (I think) Agile Messenger on it pretty frequently.

jurassic park? (1)

endlessvoid94 (767811) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039097)

i can see it now....on an isolated island deep in the pacific ocean...oooOOOOOooooo.....

good food... (1, Funny)

trb (8509) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039098)

mmm, soup!

Re:good food... (1, Redundant)

cparisi (136611) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039139)

Now we will know if it tastes like chicken!

Re:good food... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039217)

What does it feel like to be beaten to the joke by CmdrTaco's dept. line?

Dinosaurs are a myth (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039099)


after all, earth is only 6000 years old and was created in 40 days, unless my sources are wrong

Re:Dinosaurs are a myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039225)

No it was created in 6 days, you ignorant heretic.

Re:Dinosaurs are a myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039260)

depends on what religion you are. Besides, every knows that the earth at its' contents were thrown up by the Gods.

Re:Dinosaurs are a myth (1)

dfn5 (524972) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039259)

Yes, your sources are wrong. The dinosaurs were created on day 4. They were wiped out on day 5. I read all about it in The Onion. [theonion.com]

cooking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039102)

But can we cook it? I remember a story about a society in Britain eating Mammoth meat, that had been preserved for ~10,000 in the Siberian tundra. If we smash enough dinosaur bones, can we prepare a dinner from that too? :)

YES!!! (0)

CarlinWithers (861335) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039104)

I always wanted a T-Rex as a pet. I could get it to eat my enemies!!!

Mmmm dinosaur jerky! (0)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039108)

Dino-jerky! It's mmm-mmm good!

Finally (4, Funny)

ChozCunningham (698051) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039114)

We can check for traces of tar, nicotine and other toxins, and scientists will get to end the extinction debate [kidsgrowth.com] . Seriously, might this be the biggest news of the decade? Longer?

zerg (1, Insightful)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039122)

I'm sorry, but why did they have to put it inside a transport helicoptor? Couldn't they just have attached a tether or something?

Probably Redundant Already (-1, Redundant)

MyHair (589485) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039124)

I for one welcome our new T-Rex overlords.

Re:Probably Redundant Already (1)

BarryNorton (778694) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039192)

Nope, you could even haven taken the time to punctuate...

Just in time (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039128)

for the theatrical release of Jurassic Park 9

and the real question everyone wants answered is...

does it taste like chicken?

Re:Just in time (4, Informative)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039233)

> and the real question everyone wants answered is...
>
>does it taste like chicken?

Considering that birds are the distant descendants of dinosaurs, and considering that the article [newscientist.com] someone else referred to describes traces of proteins from 70M-year-old eggs as bearing "strong similarities to proteins from chicken eggs.", I'd bet good money that the answer is probably "yes".

The dino in the NewScientist article was a herbivore, and T. Rex was either a carnivore or carrion-eater; so maybe it'll taste more like eagle or vulture.

Personally, I've never eaten eagle or vulture. Anyone know wha-yeah, I figured as much. Chicken.

Obligatory Post (0, Troll)

IAMTHEMEDIA (869196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039129)

God Creates Dinosaurs God Destorys Dinosaurs God Creates Man Man Destroys God Man Creates Dinosaurs Christains sue and take over America Theocracy reigns in a new technological Dark age. I hope the Christain Coalition and Right Wingers stuff it with no LAME EXCUSES.

But how? (5, Insightful)

vivin (671928) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039135)

I'm slightly skeptical. The article talks about soft tissue, but none of the scientists even try to explain how soft tissue could have survived for seventy million years?

Re:But how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039189)

Well, duh. It's because dinosaurs aren't seventy million years old. Four-thousand TOPS.

**ducks under flame-resistant shield and runs for cover**

But in all seriousness, I think it is an interesting question and I'm sure the answer is just as scientifically fascinating.

Re:But how? (1)

Goronmon (652094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039202)

What I got from the article is that they aren't completely sure how fossilization actually works, they had just made assumptions about what kind of decomposition the remains undergo.

Re:But how? (2, Funny)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039270)

They preserved soft tissues because they had a successful anti-aging skin cream industry.

Re:But how? (5, Insightful)

tricops (635353) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039278)

Well, you should take everything with a grain of salt of course, but... if you find a bone and it does have soft tissue, then it has soft tissue whether you have an explanation of how it could be possible or not. The explanation comes after further research. Of course, one of the explanations could be it might not be an actual dinosaur bone, but that one can probably be ruled out pretty quickly if the researchers have any idea what they're doing.

*breaking story* (1)

bizmark22 (823743) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039138)

scientists find cardboard box and a pink slip as well... more on the evening news.

First soft tissue find? (1)

phyruxus (72649) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039140)

Is this the first soft tissue find of a dinosaur?

Re:First soft tissue find? (1)

bizmark22 (823743) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039236)

From the f*cking article:

"Preservation of this extent, where you still have this flexibility and transparency, has never been seen in a dinosaur before." Feathers, hair and fossilized egg contents yes, but not truly soft tissue."

What about X-rays or MRI first (1, Insightful)

climb_no_fear (572210) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039142)

instead of mindlessly breaking open rare fossils looking for soft tissue as suggested by Dr. Schweitzer?

Re:What about X-rays or MRI first (2, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039287)

Except that they did not mindlessly do that. It was so that they could get it on the helicopter. There is a difference.

Promising for archaeology (5, Interesting)

skwirl42 (262355) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039152)

It'll be interesting to see if we can find hominid remains in similar states of preservation, so we can learn more about the layout of our evolutionary tree. Then again, a T-Rex bone is huge, and that may be the only reason it managed to keep anything preserved.

Fuck (4, Funny)

erikharrison (633719) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039162)

Anybody got a handy chaos theorist? Anybody? Seriously, I need a chaos theorist, oily hair, glasses, fuzzy math skills, preferably debauched.

Alternatively do any of you know anything about UNIX systems?

Re:Fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039238)

Apparently, all you need to know is Ctrl-Alt-Backspace! It will make the laughing go away.

Slashdot - where we always have answers! Even if it's not a real question.

Re:Fuck (4, Funny)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039291)

The last chaos theorist we kept around wandered into the teleporation lab and turned into a half-man half-fly.

Wow look at that goat in the T-Rex paddock! (0, Redundant)

dauthur (828910) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039164)

Anyone remember what happened to Jeff Goldblum in that movie? I'd like to keep it that way. In the movie. I like my legs.

Why did I read this as ... (2, Funny)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039167)

"Scientists Find Kleenex Tissue in T-Rex Bone"... and thought "those damn litter pigs"!

This may prove Homer Simpson wrong.. (5, Funny)

kalel666 (587116) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039168)

Homer: He may be rich, but money can't buy everything!
Marge: Like what?
Homer: . . . A Dinosaur!

I want to be the first 35 year old kid on my block with a T-Rex. Leash laws be damned!

It's a new secret weapon... (2, Funny)

kdougherty (772195) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039171)

We can clone secret t-rex weapons and release them on fueding countries to settle wars! ... Or we could just open a theme park, go visit, and get killed. Just remember that he can't see you if you don't move.

The question is... (1)

Weltanschauung (760763) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039173)

Shall we eat the soft tissue now or later?

They're Busy Now (1)

cflorio (604840) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039184)

They're now so busy figguring out if they could that they are forgetting to figgure out if they should.

What I want to knkow is.. (5, Funny)

UncleBiggims (526644) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039185)

Why would a T-Rex be using Kleenex?

Hello?... Is this thing on?

Time to look at other fossils (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039187)

If it is in one, it is quite possible for it to be in others. I just wonder if it can be done in a none destructive manner?

OHHH NOOO (0, Redundant)

Skiron (735617) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039196)

It was the BABY!!! Hell have no fury like a T-Rex mother scorned... That helicopter is gonna get it's arsed kicked, and get mauled around like it is a toy and pushed down a cliff in really heavy down pour, but WAIT... it gets caught in power cables *sparks*, and most of the world's lights goes out... ... ...

Metabolism (4, Interesting)

praedictus (61731) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039197)

I wonder if this soft tissue will give us some clues about the metabolism of T-Rex, namely will it reveal whether it was warm or cold blooded, or something in between. I must admit this is surprising news.

MSNBC has pictures of the meat (5, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039200)

meaty goodness [msn.com]

in my professional paleontological opinion (not), it needs a nice marinade

fre up the BBQ, lets see what T Rex tastes like

why? Why? WHY? (5, Funny)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039206)

WHY did it have to be the DNA of a T-Rex? Why couldn't it have been a nice herbivore, like a stegosaurus, or even better, one of those little chicken-sized dinos?

Now there's going to be running and screaming, and it's all going to be a big huge mess.

Jurassic Pork (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039211)

What if it wasn't a T-Rex. What if it was porcine?

Possible viruses? (4, Interesting)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039216)

I'm a little concerned about the possible viruses which may have been dormantly sitting in this soft tissue all along. Who knows what they might be/do?

nytimes too (3, Informative)

jdunlevy (187745) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039219)

article here [nytimes.com]

Same thing happened to me at KFC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039222)

I cracked open a fossilized piece of breast, only to find what appeared to be bone cells, blood vessels, and possibly grey matter. Extensive sequencing revealed only canine DNA which we attributed to contamination at the lab. Further field work was warranted, but we all agreed to stick with Taco Bell from now on.

Oh, yeah! (3, Funny)

KC7GR (473279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039256)

Mmmm... It -does- taste like chicken. If you can imagine 10,000 year-old chicken getting better with age.

Now if I can just find a 10,000 year-old White Zin to go with it...

Forced? (5, Funny)

sugapablo (600023) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039261)

"Paleontologists forced to break the creature's massive thighbone to get it on a helicopter..."

Who was heading this team, Homer Simpson?

I can just see him now:
Homer: "Grrr..."
Lisa: "Dad, it's just too big to fit in there."
Homer: "Nonsense Lisa, daddy will just shove it in....Grrr....here it goes...." *snap* "...DOH!"

T-Rex Stem Cells? (0, Flamebait)

Zsinj (864251) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039271)

So, does this count as stem cell research? If so, it can't happen in the US. Bush outlawed stem cell research - did he include a clause about non-animal stem cells? He's pretty stupid, so I don't think he would have :P

Ummm (1)

Ravenscall (12240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039274)

Bone cells are not soft tissue. Maybe unfossilized tissue, but even unfossilized bone is not considered soft tissue.

70million years old? (1)

CatGrep (707480) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039281)

Could blood cells, blood vessels, etc. last in a flexible state for 70 million years?

I kind'a doubt it.

Young earth (2, Interesting)

rkcth (262028) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039286)

Is this proof of a young earth?
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