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Eric wrote:

> Much of the work on these specimens is being done by Horner's 
> Mary Schweitzer. When she spoke here last year they had only 
> about 200 base pairs through PCR. It appears that that number has 
> increased quite a bit if Horner has found similarities to bird DNA. 
> Schweitzer will be presenting this work at the SVPs next month. I 
expect the 
> session will be well attended!

I would like to know if the bird was sequenced in the same labs.  If so, 
then it will have contaminated the dino sample.  If any of the 
technicians have a pet parrot, duck or ostrich, this will also cause 
potential contamination.  There are only so many variables with base 
pairs (as far as I am aware) that the majority of fragments can be 
attributed to a whole host of animals.

I'm not up with all this biomolecule stuff, but I know that the 
archaeology department here gets human bones sequenced in Japan 
to identify any contamination due to differences in the base pairs.

Neil Clark
Curator of Palaeontology
Hunterian Museum
University of Glasgow
email: NCLARK@museum.gla.ac.uk

The first law of Geology is the law of supposition.
(Geological Howlers - ed. WDI Rolfe)