Jurassic Park theory disproved by scientists who rule dinosaur DNA cannot survive in amber


Heather Saul@heatheranne9
Tuesday 17 February 2015 14:06

As the fourth instalment in the multi-million pound Jurassic Park series is announced, scientists have revealed that the theory behind the film that kept so many audiences captivated would not be successful in reality.

The concept of extracting the DNA of dinosaurs from blood eaten by insects which is in turn preserved in amber has intrigued fans of the film since the release of Steven Spielberg's film in 1993.

But UK based scientists who joined forces with amber experts in a new study have revealed this technique is unlikely to succeed.

In the study, researchers at the University of Manchester attempted to extract DNA from insects entombed in subfossilised copal using DNA sequencing techniques.

Despite their efforts, the team were unable to find any traces of ancient DNA in samples up to 10,600 years old.

The team used stingless bees encased in copal to try and detect DNA sequences from the insect.

In the youngest specimens, the team were able to match some isolated sequences of just over 500 nucelotides, which form the molecular building blocks of DNA, according to the Daily Telegraph. They tried unsuccessfully to match the sequences they did isolate to genes from modern stingless bees. In the oldest specimens, they were unable to obtain any evidence of DNA.

In their research, the authors of the study said they could not find any convincing evidence for the preservation of ancient DNA, and concluded that DNA is not preserved in this type of material.

"Our results raise further doubts about claims of DNA extraction from fossil insects in amber, many millions of years older than copalm," they added.

Dr David Penney, an amber expert at the University of Manchester, told The Telegraph: “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.”

Universal Pictures announced the fourth Jurassic Park movie, Jurassic World, is set for a June 2015 release earlier this week. Colin Trevorrow will direct the film and Steven Spielberg will act as producer.

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