Scientists find 125M year-old dinosaur that has organic molecules

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Scientists from China say they have isolated ‘exquisitely preserved’ cartilage cells of a 125-million-year-old dinosaur that contains organic molecules and may suggest that dinosaur DNA could one day be found.

Researchers from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and from the Shandong Tianyu Museum of Nature found the nuclei which contains organic components and ‘fossilized threads of chromatin’ in the cartilage of Caudipteryx, a dinosaur roughly the size of a peacock.

( ( (

In addition to the chromatin, the researchers found two types of cells in the cartilage: healthy cells and those in the process of dying when the animal itself died.

The authors note that preserved cell nuclei in extinct organisms such as dinosaurs is ‘currently considered rare and exceptional,’ but there have been previous examples of it being found.

These include certain mammals, dinosaurs from the Mesozoic era, as well as plants that are more than 600 million years old.

‘Recent taphonomy experiments on plants and algae have shown that nuclei are surprisingly stable and that nuclear decay is much slower than originally thought in some conditions,’ they wrote in the study.

© Provided by Daily Mail (

It’s likely that the cells were ‘exquisitely preserved’ by the silicon dioxide from volcanic ash that covered the carcass. 

‘It is possible that these cells were already dying even before the animal died,’ said Alida Bailleul, IVPP associate Professor and study co-author in a statement. 

© Provided by Daily Mail (

Caudipteryx, about the size of a peacock, lived on the shores of Jehol Biota lake in Liaoning province during the Early Cretaceous period.

It was capable of reaching speeds of 17mph according to a 2019 study and learned to fly by accident. The first specimen was discovered in China in 1997. 

The researchers took cells from the cartilage and stained them with a purple chemical known as hematoxylin.

After doing so, they saw a nucleus with darker purple threads, indicating it retained some original organic molecules and chromatin.

© Provided by Daily Mail (

The cartilage, which came from the right femur of the dinosaur, was analyzed via a number of different chemical methods, along with the cartilage of a chicken for comparison.

‘The two specimens reacted identically, and one dinosaur chondrocyte revealed a nucleus with fossilized threads of chromatin,’ the researchers wrote.

‘This is the second example of fossilized chromatin threads in a vertebrate material.

‘These data show that some of the original nuclear biochemistry is preserved in this dinosaur cartilage material and further support the hypothesis that cartilage is very prone to nuclear fossilization and a perfect candidate to further understand DNA preservation in deep time.’

The cells had been mineralized by silification from the volcanic ash after the animal died, which allowed for it be preserved in such an incredible state.  

‘Geological data has accumulated over the years and shown that fossil preservation in the Jehol Biota was exceptional due to fine volcanic ashes that entombed the carcasses and preserved them down to the cellular level,’ said one of the study’s co-authors, LI Zhiheng, Associate Professor at IVPP, in a statement. 

More work needs to be done to see if any original DNA from the dinosaur is preserved, but it’s not completely out of the question, Bailleul said.

‘Let’s be honest, we are obviously interested in fossilized cell nuclei because this is where most of the DNA should be if DNA was preserved,’ Bailleul explained.

‘So, we have good preliminary data, very exciting data, but we are just starting to understand cellular biochemistry in very old fossils. At this point, we need to work more.’

The study has been published in Communications Biology.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Mexico: drug cartels recruiting youths through video games

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Drug cartels in Mexico are recruiting youths through contacts made on multiplayer online video games, officials said Wednesday. Ricardo Mejía, Mexico’s assistant public safety secretary, said ... Read more »

Five bodies have been found since Gabby Petito vanished and thrust missing people into spotlight

The bodies of at least five missing persons have been found amid the intense focus on Gabby Petito’s homicide and the disappearance of fugitive Brian Laundrie. Mr Laundrie has been ... Read more »

Rylan reassures fans 'he's good' after fears for his mental health

Rylan has reassured fans that he’s doing OK after a difficult year (Getty Images) Rylan has assured fans that he’s “doing good” following reports that he was being urged to ... Read more »

“This Is Peak Cricket” – Twitter On Fire As Virat Kohli Bowls Against Australia

Virat Kohli Virat Kohli was seen rolling his arms in the warm-up game against Australia as India’s hunt for the sixth bowling option continues ahead of the T20 World Cup. ... Read more »

Tesla bucks chip shortage woes with another profitable quarter

Tesla’s record third quarter brought its biggest three-month windfall ever, as the company announced Wednesday that it turned a $1.6 billion profit. That’s despite a global semiconductor shortage and delays ... Read more »

Australia calls out Chinese coercion

Australia has called out Chinese coercion in a blistering statement to the World Trade Organisation. In a rare frank assessment by the federal government, Canberra has accused Beijing now of ... Read more »

Sydney News: Clean-up underway in Coffs Habour after supercell storm causes widespread damage

Here’s what you need to know this morning. Coffs Harbour storm clean-up Emergency services are dealing with the aftermath of a supercell thunderstorm on the state’s mid-North Coast. More than ... Read more »

28 White Elephant gifts under $30 that won't get thrown away

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. So you decided to participate in Secret Santa this year, but ... Read more »

VR treatment for lazy eye in children gets FDA approval

The Food and Drug Administration approved a virtual reality-based treatment for children with the visual disorder amblyopia, or lazy eye, the company behind the therapy announced today. Patients watch modified ... Read more »

Why more Australian women are choosing a solo van life

© Provided by ABC NEWS More women are choosing to hit the road and travel solo.  (Instagram: 75 Vibes  ) Kellie Campbell has just given up her unit on the Gold ... Read more »

Thousands wait for Queensland border pass as lucky few enter as part of home quarantine trial

© Provided by ABC News Gold Coast woman Jane Caswell is one of a few people selected to participate in Queensland’s home quarantine trial. (Supplied: Jane Caswell) Gold Coast resident Jane Caswell is ... Read more »

Hyper's new 245W USB-C battery pack and charger are here to help charge all your gear at once

Hyper has announced a pair of over-the-top USB-C accessories: HyperJuice 245W USB-C Battery Pack and the HyperJuice 245W USB-C GaN Charger, each of which offers four USB-C ports for charging ... Read more »

Kate and William caught sharing a tender moment backstage at the Earthshot Prize Awards

With her hand lovingly around Prince William’s back, the Duchess of Cambridge stares into her husband’s eyes during a tender moment backstage at the Earthshot Prize Awards. The couple is ... Read more »

Sadie Frost supported by all four children at premiere for her film

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Sadie Frost’s four children came out in force on Wednesday as they showed support for her at the premiere for her new documentary ... Read more »

Homes due for demolition to make way for rail line expansions ahead of Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games

© Provided by ABC Business As many as 331 properties have been identified by the Queensland Government as being impacted by the Gold Coast Logan Faster Rail. (ABC News: Lucas ... Read more »

Waiting for cheap petrol a thing of the past for Australian drivers switching to electric cars

It’s been a strange month for Vivian Sawatzki — she had to visit a petrol station. She and her husband bought their first electric car just before Christmas. But last ... Read more »

Sen. Blumenthal says Zuckerberg needs to testify about Instagram and kids

Senator Richard Blumenthal is again calling on Mark Zuckerberg to testify about Facebook’s research into Instagram and child safety. “It is urgent and necessary for you or Mr. Adam Mosseri ... Read more »

NASA contest asks K-12 students to create Moon-digging robots

NASA doesn’t just want adults learning how to work with lunar soil. The space agency has launched a Lunabotics Junior contest that tasks K-12 students in the US with designing ... Read more »

Family wins battle against Public Trustee to keep brother's financial independence

© Provided by ABC Business Sue Nunn won the right to administer her brother John’s finances over the public trustee. (Supplied: Sue Nunn) Sue Nunn feels like a weight has ... Read more »

International borders are reopening and you can soon book that overseas holiday. But what happens if you get COVID-19 while you're away?

© Provided by ABC Health Overseas trips will require a lot more planning once international borders reopen. (Pexels: Vlada Karpovich) With international borders set to reopen for fully vaccinated travellers from ... Read more »

Quilpie's 'free land' home builder grant attracts hundreds of enquiries, overseas interest

© Provided by ABC Business Quilpie Shire Council CEO Justin Hancock at one of Quilpie’s many vacant blocks of land. (ABC Western Qld: Ellie Grounds) When Justin Hancock engineered a ... Read more »

WD 1TB Xbox Game Drive sees major discount ahead of Black Friday

Black Friday 2021 isn’t here yet, but retailers like Best Buy are already starting to drop some big deals on consumer electronics. One particularly notable deal is for the WD ... Read more »

30 thoughtful gifts teachers actually want in 2021

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Buying gifts for teachers can be tricky. If you’re trying to ... Read more »

Mark Zuckerberg called to testify before the Senate following Instagram reports

A top Democrat is demanding Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg or Instagram chief Adam Mosseri testify before the Senate to explain how the company plans to protect kids in light of ... Read more »

eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar is backing the Facebook whistleblower

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified in front of Congress two weeks ago about the ways the company’s products can bring harm to users, after leaking documents supporting her claims to ... Read more »

Crab in 100 MILLION-year-old amber is oldest modern-looking crustacean

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Remains of an ancient crab frozen in amber for 100 million years have been discovered, making it the oldest modern-looking crab ever to ... Read more »

Black Friday Apple deals 2021: early sales and what to expect

Black Friday Apple deals are almost here which means incredible sales are coming your way on Apple’s best-selling devices. The Apple Black Friday deals event is the perfect opportunity to ... Read more »

Eddie Obeid, son Moses and Ian Macdonald to be sentenced over Bylong mine conspiracy

© Provided by ABC NEWS Eddie Obeid, Ian Macdonald and Moses Obeid will today be sentenced over the mine licence conspiracy guilty verdict. () Just two years after serving time ... Read more »

As Victoria reopens, experts are warning people not to expect to be told about COVID exposures

Despite living in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and working in the city’s west, schoolteacher Casey has so far avoided getting caught up in any COVID exposure sites. He is fully vaccinated, but ... Read more »

Is Facebook changing the company name? Rebrand could be coming, report says

Facebook is reportedly planning to announce a rebrand which would include changing its company name. Read more »

Everything you need to know about Sydney's gangland war

There’s a long history of violence police link to turf wars in Sydney’s south-west. Here are the main figures from both families. Bassam Hamzy Australia’s first extreme high-risk inmate, Bassam Hamzy, ... Read more »

Boston Fed will not release documents on its former president's trades

By Howard Schneider © Reuters/BRENDAN MCDERMID FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell attends a presentation by the East Hartford CONNects, a Working Cities Challenge initiative in East Harford, Connecticut ... Read more »

Aboriginal group claims state government has failed to consult over Marinus Link

© Provided by ABC Business Boonwurrung culture heritage officer David Tournier says the area around Waratah Bay and Venus bay is very sensitive and contains a number of locations where ... Read more »

Police narrow in on sports car as part of investigation into fatal shootings of Salim and Toufik Hamze

© Provided by ABC NEWS Women comfort each other at the scene of the shooting in Guilford yesterday. (ABC News) A grey Ford Mustang seen leaving a street near where ... Read more »

Amazon offers up more data to tell third-party sellers which items will be popular

© Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Amazon has announced a tool that will give sellers access to information about what shoppers are currently looking for and help make ... Read more »

Mammoths driven to extinction because of climate change - not human hunters, study says

The rapidity of the changes to tundra landscapes left mammoths with little to eat, new research reveals (Daniel Eskridge) For around five million years, various species of mammoth walked the ... Read more »

Why royal experts say the Queen's forced rest on doctor's orders is 'nothing to be worried about'

Buckingham Palace did their best not to cause any alarm when they announced Queen Elizabeth was taking a few days of forced rest on doctor’s orders. The statement, issued on ... Read more »

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is $200 off at Amazon right now

We saw the 11-inch iPad Pro go on sale last week, and now Amazon has an even bigger discount on the 12.9-inch model. The 256GB WiFi version is $200 off ... Read more »

This portable NAS crams in a huge amount of space for all your data

QNAP has announced the launch of its new portable NAS device designed for mobile workers whose organizations have implemented hybrid work policies. The company’s new TBS-464 NASbook can be equipped ... Read more »

Javid urges Britons to take Covid tests before Christmas parties

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Sajid Javid has urged people to take Covid tests before going to Christmas parties this year, amid fears that surging cases could spark a ... Read more »