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Re: Schweizter and Soft Tissue Recovery
If the material leaked in we should see a match mainly to beetles and
mammals and birds. If it is dinosaurian, we should see a match to
birds and crocs, period.
Now if I could only recall what the results of the study were....
Dr. Heinrich Mallison
Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz-Institut
für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung
an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Office phone: +49 (0)30 2093 8764
Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.
Gaius Julius Caeser
On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 12:09 AM, Robert Schenck <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> At the SVP meeting, there was an interesting investigation on the
> metagenomics of dinosaur soft tissue preservation. The gist of it was
> that the material recovered from Mesozoic fossil bone had gene &
> protein material that matched WAY too many living things, and matched
> them WAY too perfectly. One thing to be 'turkey-like' (and therefore
> distantly related to birds), another to be a plain old turkey. The
> authors at the talk supposed that genetic and protein material had
> leached through the soils, and invaded the fossil bones (Researchers
> in the tropics, as far as I understand it, do (somewhat similar)
> environmental DNA sampling to ID the different genetic types of things
> that are out in the forest (w/o having to ID the living animal).
> That's a pretty fascinating discovery in and of itself. They also felt
> that bacteria could make (and indeed showed similar) tubular
> structures that look like blood vessels.
> Later I noticed a poster from (if I recall correctly) someone in Dr.
> Schweitzer's group identifying the material in the soft tissue as
> definitely collagen.
> So what does anyone think about this, seems like the issue is still
> open, and this material was recovered quite a while ago.
> Has there been any sectioning of the 'goop' that Dr. Schweizter found,
> for histological examination (beyond what she's already done)? Does it
> react with biological stains that can distinguish between material
> like collagen and bacterial films? If genes and proteins from the
> environment are leaching into the fossil, should'nt they also be in
> the surrounding rock, indeed, might it be possible to detect higher
> concentrations closer to the surface and outside the bones? Coring at
> the site might be informative in that respect.
> It it's dinosaurian, I'd expect the center of the bone to have the
> highest concentration of material (goop, genes, proteins), if it's
> leaching, i'd expect the opposite. Seems like that sort of analysis
> could be done.
> Robert J. Schenck
> Kingsborough Community College
> Physical Sciences Department
> S332 ph# 718-368-5792
> Follow Me on Twitter: @Schenck
> KCC Class Schedule on Google Calendar: http://tinyurl.com/mqwlcy