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Re: Dino-fuzz found in amber?



On Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 7:00 AM, David Marjanovic
<david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:
> Am 16.09.2011 03:35, schrieb Roberto Takata:
>
>>  Not in amber: New evidence for 250 Ma age of halotolerant bacterium
>>  from a Permian salt crystal "These results support the 250 Ma age of
>>  the fluid inclusions, and by inference, the long-term survivability
>>  of microorganisms such as Virgibacillus sp. 2–9-3."
>>  http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/33/4/265.abstract
>
> Those are supposed to be _living_ bacteria which kept repairing their DNA
> all the time.

They are supposed to be *dormant* bacteria. Repairing DNA requires energy.

>>  S. O. Rogers, K. Langenegger and O. Holdenrieder
>
> Again you didn't cite the year. Papers are cited by author and year, and
> only then by title, journal, volume number and page numbers.
> The year is 2000. That's long ago.

Long ago *after* 1997 rather arbitrary limit mentioned earlier. And if
the paper is recent or old is not a primary issue: what is important
is if the results is validy or not.

> Sounds good, indeed promising, but tells us nothing about whether DNA
> survives under waterproof conditions for years or millions of years.

"Little", "not much", ok, but "nothing" is a bit of exaggeration,
otherwise it could not sounds promising.

> That's from 2008, so they really are advances. Well, they mean it's now
> possible to make use of more and more degraded DNA, but when there's no DNA
> left, they can't do anything either.

It is not propper to say no DNA left, it is "no amplifiable (by
technique X) DNA left". Even with no DNA, only short oligonucleotides,
eventually we could reconstruct the DNA fragment.

>>  All in all it still seems to me that try to get DNA from those  
>> protofeathers would be
>>  interesting.
>
> Sure, but I bet it would yield nothing... and so, I'm sure, would any funding 
> agency.

Most probably it will yield nothing, as excavate oil even in
geologically promising spot - but the prize worth the effort. At least
try to get some protein.

Since it would not be a million dollar project (up to few thousand
dollars), a crowdfunding (aka chip in) would suffice.

[]s,

Roberto Takata