Sunday, April 15, 2007

Joy's New and Hot, week3

So basically, this is awesome! I'm surprised no one has jumped on this.

The name of the article is "T-Rex tissue offers evolution insights." Some scientists found T-Rex bones on the side of a cliff in Montana that still had some soft tissues attached. Mary Schweitzer, a paleontologist at North Carolina State University, put the tissue under an electron microscope, and the material looked identical to blood vessels in modern ostrich bones. Studying this tissue is giving evolutionary insights into how dinosaurs are related to creatures of today. Schweitzer found 3 amino acid sequences identical to sequences found in chicken DNA, providing evidence for the idea that birds and dinos are relatives, an idea that had already been postulated by scientists. Sequences were found matching several other animals as well, including a newt and a frog.

I think its pretty amazing that perfect geological and environmental conditions have preserved this stuff for 68 million years. It's pretty cool for Schweitzer too, who had been insisting for years that this sort of preserved tissue could exist, while her colleagues laughed at her.

Anyway, I encourage everyone to go read the article. It's about dinosaurs, how could it not be awesome?

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