Scientists have now stated that the DNA has a half-life of 521 years which means that we can no longer hope to recreate dinosaurs from their fossil remains.

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Many of us have rejoiced every time scientists have found a new fossil evidence pertaining to the dinosaurs. And ever so often, we have secretly mused over the possibility of recreating dinosaurs from the DNA contained in these fossils. However, the sad news are that the scientists have quashed all such hopes by stating that this is not possible.


DNA

The researchers in New Zealand were more focused in determining the life-cycle of a DNA for quite some time. After a lot of research into it, they have come to the conclusion that a DNA has a half-life of about 521 years.

This is not surprising because the DNA comprises of bonds which weakened after an organism dies. Over the time, the enzymes holding together the bonds between nucleotides break down, significantly damaging the DNA in doing so.

At the same time, the micro-organisms contained in water and dust invade the body and further erode the DNA structure, effectively ruining at least half of the bonds within a DNA in 521 years. Of course if the environmental conditions are more adverse, the half life is reduced further.

Half of the remaining bonds are further eliminated after another 521 years and so, this process continues until the entire DNA structure is destroyed. Now, to give you a context for comparison, the last dinosaurs existed 65 million years ago. Naturally, even if we have their fossil remains today, they wouldn’t contain any undamaged DNA that may be of any use.

Source: Nature

Courtesy: Gizmodo

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  On October 11, 2012(1 year, 10 months ago.)

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