Cloning Of Dinosaurs And Ancient Animals Proven Impossible

Humanity will never be able to resurrect the creatures of long ago. New research suggests that even under ideal conditions, DNA becomes unreadable after a mere 1.5 million years. Thus all the dino bones and amberized insects in the world are useless for cloning purposes, Scientific American writes:

Palaeogeneticists led by Morten Allentoft in Perth, Australia, examined 158 DNA-containing leg bones belonging to three species of extinct giant birds. By comparing the specimens’ ages and degrees of DNA degradation, the researchers calculated that DNA has a half-life of 521 years. That means that after 521 years, half of the bonds between nucleotides in the backbone of a sample would have broken; after another 521 years half of the remaining bonds would have gone; and so on.

The team predicts that even in a bone at an ideal preservation temperature of −5 ºC, effectively every bond would be destroyed after a maximum of 6.8 million years. The DNA would cease to be readable much earlier — perhaps after roughly 1.5 million years, when the remaining strands would be too short to give meaningful information.

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  • Simiantongue

    Article in Scientific American maybe ten years from now

    “Once thought impossible cloning of reconstructed dinosaur DNA is now said to be only years away”

  • Simiantongue

    Article in Scientific American maybe ten years from now

    “Once thought impossible cloning of reconstructed dinosaur DNA is now said to be only years away”

    • Golchab

      Science like women, hold the option of changing thier opinion at a given moment. ;)

    • Golchab

      Science like women, hold the option of changing thier opinion at a given moment. ;)

  • Browncoat

    Scientific American also thought the Wright Brothers’ flight was still a hoax in 1905.

  • Browncoat

    Scientific American also thought the Wright Brothers’ flight was still a hoax in 1905.

  • alizardx

    The problem with proof of this sort based on statistics is that extremely improbable things *do* happen. Also, remember that the descendants of dinosaurs (birds, not GOP politicians) are still alive and well, so if we wind up with an improbably large chunk of fossil DNA, it might be possible to use modern DNA templates to fill in the rest.

  • alizardx

    The problem with proof of this sort based on statistics is that extremely improbable things *do* happen. Also, remember that the descendants of dinosaurs (birds, not GOP politicians) are still alive and well, so if we wind up with an improbably large chunk of fossil DNA, it might be possible to use modern DNA templates to fill in the rest.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    they cloned Bush from a Neanderthal 
    and Cheney from Cro-Magnon DNA
    but they couldn’t clone a dino pet for either
    damned Halliburton incompetence 

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    they cloned Bush from a Neanderthal 
    and Cheney from Cro-Magnon DNA
    but they couldn’t clone a dino pet for either
    damned Halliburton incompetence 

  • http://twitter.com/jasonpaulhayes jasonpaulhayes

    Impossible? Only time will tell, it’s a little short sighted to say it’s “impossible”. With multiple samples it’s possible to construct the vast majority of a genome but indeed without splicing its unlikely a complete genome can be reconstructed.

  • http://twitter.com/jasonpaulhayes jasonpaulhayes

    Impossible? Only time will tell, it’s a little short sighted to say it’s “impossible”. With multiple samples it’s possible to construct the vast majority of a genome but indeed without splicing its unlikely a complete genome can be reconstructed.

    • chinagreenelvis

      Once again, a bullshitty Disinfo headline that catches the eye but in some way misrepresents the content of the original article.

    • chinagreenelvis

      Once again, a bullshitty Disinfo headline that catches the eye but in some way misrepresents the content of the original article.

  • Monkey See Monkey Do

    Cloning creatures from 1 to 1.5 million years ago can still be a fun waste of time. :)

  • Monkey See Monkey Do

    Cloning creatures from 1 to 1.5 million years ago can still be a fun waste of time. :)

  • Codevark

    Ahem, therefore we should immediately freeze-up some good old human DNA (in case?!) we destroy most of the life on Earth though our shortsighted monkeybusiness.

  • Codevark

    Ahem, therefore we should immediately freeze-up some good old human DNA (in case?!) we destroy most of the life on Earth though our shortsighted monkeybusiness.

  • Adam Cybulski

    “Impossible” is the cry of a fool. 

  • Adam Cybulski

    “Impossible” is the cry of a fool. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ETIPMOJJVLTN3HE3MCI5LNLIHA 13Lar

    I love how things are “proven impossible” I bet in the first year of human recorded history human flight was proven impossible as well. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ETIPMOJJVLTN3HE3MCI5LNLIHA 13Lar

    I love how things are “proven impossible” I bet in the first year of human recorded history human flight was proven impossible as well. 

  • Nut Bastard

    One cannot prove a negative: Such is a fundamental tenant of the scientific method. *Demonstrating* that something is not *currently* feasible is a horse of a different color.

    It is likely that enough redundant data combined with educated guesses will result in the possibility of all extinct species DNA being reconstructed.

    In a given sample, the nucleotides will exhibit mostly random degradation, and so multiple (say, a couple thousand) samples from the same organism should provide a level of redundancy which when combined with thousands of other samples from other examples of the same species from the same time period should provide a fairly complete genome.

    This article is scientific ignorance and pessimism writ large. Good job.

  • Nut Bastard

    One cannot prove a negative: Such is a fundamental tenant of the scientific method. *Demonstrating* that something is not *currently* feasible is a horse of a different color.

    It is likely that enough redundant data combined with educated guesses will result in the possibility of all extinct species DNA being reconstructed.

    In a given sample, the nucleotides will exhibit mostly random degradation, and so multiple (say, a couple thousand) samples from the same organism should provide a level of redundancy which when combined with thousands of other samples from other examples of the same species from the same time period should provide a fairly complete genome.

    This article is scientific ignorance and pessimism writ large. Good job.

  • Tkh901

    Thanks now i can’t ride my t-rex to school anymore.

  • Tkh901

    Thanks now i can’t ride my t-rex to school anymore.

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