I Refuse To Believe: Scientists Claim It's An Impossibility To Clone Dinosaurs From Preserved DNA

October 10, 2012


In soul crushing news, scientists claim there's no chance of cloning dinosaurs from DNA found in the present day because DNA rapidly deteriorates over time, citing that even under optimal conditions every single bond in DNA is broken in less than 1/10th of the time since the most recent dinosaur extinction. :( I think I'm just gonna go back to bed.

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 last dinos roamed some 65-million years ago]. 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.

NEW PLAN: time travel. That hasn't been ruled out as a possibility, right? I don't care if we have dinosaurs today or if I can just go visit them in the past, as long as we can still be together. Sexually -- I'm talking about sexually. "Too much information, GW." I want a foursome like in the picture!

Thanks to bison, who I almost shot extinct before remembering not to shoot the messenger. My finger really was on the trigger though. And to Jimmy H and Jeremy, who would have helped me bury the body.

  • who says we cant get the big ones back.. if chickens ancestor was larger they can turn the "small" gene off and get big cocks!

  • Cole Paquette

    Hopefully, we can just make lab grown ones by experimenting with existing genes in things like lizards and birds.

  • ZomBBombeR

    I call shenanigans, it can be done, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise, just like you can be an astronaut and the president when you grow up.

  • peteywheats

    Your theory of "impossibility" ignores the likelyhood that the monolith has stored dino dna on a moon.

  • h2opolopunk

    Old news. I learned this in my biomolecular archaeology course 11 years ago, the research was done in the 90s.

  • Douglas Stuart

    Cause that's when research stopped, you know. FFS, when I was a kid, dinosaurs were cold blooded tail dragging morons (kind of like a YouTube commenter). We now not only that some dinos had feathers, but what color the feathers were.

  • Dave Mathews Band was big in the 90s.

    They were wrong then. They are STILL wrong now!

  • RareAwesomeman

    i wont believe them until neil degrasse tyson investigates it

  • Dani

      Assuming that the same nucleotide bonds are not damaged in all the trillion dinosaur dead cells, couldn't we recreate the DNA blueprint, just like a puzzle? Computers are pretty good at this. And then all we have to do is find a way to program reproductive cells with this DNA code.  Probably in a few thousand years we'll have life form printers. Input the DNA code file, tweak options (color, size, etc..) and get a baby dino for example. 
    I think there's still hope GW!

  • h2opolopunk

    Nope. The DNA degrades into fragments of a couple hundred base pairs... if you're lucky. The main problem is that the dinosaurs existed when the planet was very warm and wet, so unlike mammoths trapped in ice, the preservation environments were very poor, not to mention 99% of dinosaur are fossilized as silicates. And amber has been proven to be too porous to preserve DNA.

  • Douglas Stuart

    But you can sequence match with a couple hundred BP. You'd need a lot of samples, but it shouldn't be much harder than standard shotgun sequencing. (In theory).

  • Mighty Molecule

    someone should tell this to the dinosaur in the found-footage film masterpiece "the dinosaur project"....

  • Spleenal

    Yeah, but we can still make dinosaurs by reverse engineering birds. The DNA that dinosaurs had is still there in birds. We just need to turn off the beak gene and feathers gene and so on to allow the original dinosaur genes to be reactivated. We can't get the big ones back but we can still have raptors running loose in the subway.

  • Parrot

    or we could just make tyrannochickens, i think this is much awesomer than lame old dinosaurs. man just imangine tyrannochickenwings, best thing ever.

  • We'll just have to make our own from scratch, then.

  • Guest

    And make them faster, stronger, and better than they were before. Oh, and let's not forgot laser cannons. >:)

  • Patrick Caldwell

    Just start combining animals until we get something close enough.

  • SciNerdGirl

    Plan C: Robot Dinosaurs!!!

  • ZomBBombeR

    That won't end well.

  • AdvancePlays

    I know this idea is drastically uninformed and probably a load of crap, but what would the situation be if they found one specimen with a particular half of it's bonds broken, and another with the other particular broken? Giving you a full set?

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