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Re: Nucleated RBCs

Thom Quinn wrote:
> This can be found at http://www.sciencenow.org/html/970408b.htm
> Tuesday, 8 April 1997, 6:30 p.m.
>                                  No Go for Reconstituted Dino
> Scientists have failed to find any trace of DNA in insects trapped in
> amber some 30 million years ago. The findings, reported in the 23 April
> Proceedings of the Royal Society, may sound a death knell for efforts to
> salvage a snip of ancient DNA to help unravel evolutionary relationships
> between living species and their ancestors.
First off, thanks to Thom for sending this along and the following
comments are NOT aimed at him.
This article makes ridiculous claims.  How can they possibly say that
because one lab didn't find any, that everyone else should quit (ok,
they didn't come right out and say so but the tone of the article
implied it to me).  Having done this type of work myself, I know how
frustrating and difficult it can be.  If you are working with freshly
sampled DNA, it can still take months to get good clean positive
results.  This project is considerably harder.  Besides, a negative
result in this field in NEVER conclusive.  Positive results are usually
not conclusive either for that matter.
As far as the contamination problem goes, while extremely difficult to
avoid, it is easily checked.  If the sequences don't match anything
known today and come close only to reptile and bird DNA (if you happen
to be working with dinosaur bone, say), contamination is not the problem
and you really have found something.  This has been found and people
still try to say it was just contamination.  Bull----.  Bacterial
sequences, yes, human sequences, yes.  Reptile?  No way.  Give me a
break.  It hasn't been replicated very well from one lab to another
because it is really hard and because the original DNA extracted is in
vanishingly small quantities and gets used up and lost in the process of
analyzing it.
The problem is not in the work, it is in the fact that many people
choose not to accept it for whatever reason which has nothing really to
do with the quality of the work but with beliefs of theirs which are
being challenged.  Skepticism is certainly understandable, but the speed
at which people rule it out before they get an understanding of the work
is truly amazing.
Sorry for the rant and thank you for your patience while I blow off

Joe Daniel