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Biotech Science

Hadrosaur Proteins Sequenced 81

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-tell-hammond dept.
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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Hadrosaur Proteins Sequenced

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  • Great (Score:5, Funny)

    by tdp252 (519328) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @10:44AM (#27845641)
    Maybe we should start using stimulus money to build some type of theme park, maybe on a remote island.
  • by oldhack (1037484) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @10:45AM (#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.
    • by radtea (464814) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:26AM (#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."

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is great news for our Large Hadrosaur Collider project!
  • 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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > 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.

      • by Talgrath (1061686)

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

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DragonWriter (970822)

          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.

    • by mog007 (677810) <Mog007@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:21AM (#27846285)

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

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by NeoSkandranon (515696)

      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 :)

    • by EkriirkE (1075937)
      Either that woman's frail little hands are just proportionally gigantic, or that egg is only softball sized.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by SnarfQuest (469614)

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

  • by oodaloop (1229816) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:12AM (#27846109)
    Hadrosaur collider...sigh...Jurassic Park...yawn...dinosaur burger...wake me up when someone makes an original joke.
  • 149 amino acids? (Score:4, Informative)

    by jc42 (318812) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:24PM (#27847185) Homepage Journal

    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. ;-)

    • 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.

      • by canajin56 (660655)

        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

    • Re:149 amino acids? (Score:4, Informative)

      by rnaiguy (1304181) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:24PM (#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?
      • 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: (Score:3, Informative)

          by rnaiguy (1304181)
          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.
    • 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.

  • 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?

    • by saforrest (184929)

      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.

      • 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".

    • by ianare (1132971)

      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."

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

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

Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl. -- Mike Adams

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