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Reconstructing dinosaurs from ancient DNA has been dealt a blow with a new study finding genetic material can only last one million years.An international team of researchers reached the finding after analysing DNA extracted from bones of the extinct New Zealand moa.
Lead author Dr Morten Allentoft from Murdoch University's Ancient DNA lab in Perth, says their results contradict earlier studies which claimed to have extracted DNA fragments several hundred base pairs long from dinosaur bones and preserved insects - claims which underpinned the storyline of the 1993 movie .This site stores nothing other than an automatically generated session ID in the cookie; no other information is captured.In general, only the information that you provide, or the choices you make while visiting a web site, can be stored in a cookie.For example, the site cannot determine your email name unless you choose to type it.Allowing a website to create a cookie does not give that or any other site access to the rest of your computer, and only the site that created the cookie can read it."What we show here with the decay rate of DNA is that this is never going to be possible," says Allentoft.
"It may be that you can have extremely short fragments of DNA, only a few base pairs that persist for maybe a million years, maybe even longer." Allentoff says the earlier findings may have been due to contamination with human DNA.
The latest study, published in the , also establishes a DNA 'decay rate', which could help identify specimens likely to yield useful genetic material.
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