Extracting Dinosaur DNA From Amber Fossils Impossible, Scientists Say

Seems like the dream of a Jurassic Park, will remain a dream. Because According to Dr David Penney and his colleagues at the University of Manchester, UK, the existence of ancient DNA in amber fossils is highly unlikely.

The idea of recreating dinosaurs by extracting DNA from insects in amber has held the fascination of the public since the early 1990s.

The scientists have tried to extract ancient DNA from two stingless bees Trigonisca ameliae. This image shows Trigonisca ameliae bee in Colombian copal. Image credit: Dr David Penney / University of Manchester.

But Manchester University scientists in their new study, published in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, have revealed this technique is unlikely to succeed.

They used highly-sensitive sequencing techniques – the most advance type of DNA sequencing – on insects in copal, the sub-fossilized resin precursor of amber.

The scientists concluded that their inability to detect ancient DNA in relatively young – 60 years to 10,600 years old – sub-fossilized insects in copal, despite using sensitive next generation methods, suggests that the potential for DNA survival in resin inclusions is no better, and perhaps worse, than that in air-dried museum insects.

This raises significant doubts about claims of DNA extraction from fossil insects in amber, many millions of years older than copal.

“Intuitively, one might imagine that the complete and rapid engulfment in resin, resulting in almost instantaneous demise, might promote the preservation of DNA in a resin entombed insect, but this appears not to be the case. So, unfortunately, the Jurassic Park scenario must remain in the realms of fiction,” Dr Penney concluded.

Read more at Sci-news.com

(Read our list of Top 10 Giant Prehistoric Creatures that are Thank fully Extinct)

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