The prospect of creating a real-world Jurassic Park seems to be nearing, especially with the recent discoveries of scientists. A team of scientists from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Shandong Tianyu Museum of Nature (STM) reported finding well-preserved cartilage cells of a dinosaur in Northeastern China.

Scientists believe that the fossil could contain the first prehistoric DNA that raises the possibility of cloning a dinosaur, just like the famous 1993 movie "Jurrasic." 

 Dinosaur Cloning: First Healthy Prehistoric DNA Was Found in a Perfectly Preserved Fossil in China
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
Gastroliths in Caudipteryx zoui specimen BPV 085, which is collected from Beipiao, Liaoning, China. This specimen is a collection of Beijing Museum of Natural History and was on display in the National Museum of Natural Science (Taichung, Taiwan) during a special exhibition.

Potential Health DNA Found in 125-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Cells

Researchers described their findings in the study, titled "Nuclear Preservation in the Cartilage of the Jehol Dinosaur Caudipteryxpublished in Communications Biology. According to the researchers, a piece of fossilized cartilage of a 125-million-year-old Caudipteryx was exquisitely preserved in volcanic ash.

The team discovered the fossils in northern China, where they also found cells mineralized in a process known as silicification, New York Post reported.

Experts concluded that the cells are healthy, adding that the fossilized cells cannot be categorized as "rock" because they contain organic molecules.

Scientists said they are excited about finding the fossilized cell nuclei because it is where DNA is found, which means it was preserved after millions of years.

"We have good and exciting preliminary data. We need to figure out exactly what those organic molecules are, but I hope we can reconstruct a DNA sequence," the news outlet quoted Professor Alida Bailleul. "I could be wrong, but I could also be right."

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Analyzing Prehistoric Dinosaur DNA

According to SciTech Daily, the team also discovered two main types of cells in the fossils: the healthy cells at the time of fossilization and the not-so-healthy types. Bailleul said the second type of cells they found were porous and fossilized while dying, which were likely already dead even before the animal died.

Researchers noted that placing a fossilized cell into a particular spot within the cell cycle is something new in paleontology. Improving cellular imagery in fossils is one of the objectives that the team is currently working on.

The scientists isolated some of the cells they recovered and stained them with a chemical called hematoxylin, which is commonly used among biological laboratories around the world. This purple chemical binds to nuclei cells for a clearer view.

They saw that one dinosaur cell had a purple nucleus with some darker strains, which means that the cell was so exquisitely preserved that it retained some of its original biomolecules and chromatin threads.

The team plans to do more work and use other chemical methods that are more refined than they initially used to prove that some remnants of dinosaur DNA may still be preserved. It is important to conduct more tests to see whether these molecules have retained any biological information and prehistoric DNA.


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