If you watched Jurassic Park and thought, “wow, wouldn’t it be cool if we actually COULD recreate dinosaurs like that” (and let’s be honest, who DIDN’T think that), then I have bad news for you. Nature reports that researchers have found the bonds between nucleotides in DNA break down over time. Pretty quickly, too…the half-life of DNA is about 521 years (after 521 years, half of the bonds have been broken; another 521 years and half the remaining bonds have been broken, and so on).
The bright spot here is that scientists reached this conclusion by analyzing a very specific set of bones…so there’s perhaps a chance that bones preserved in some different environment may yield usable DNA. It’s not looking too likely though.
If you hope to have a pet dinosaur someday, it looks like your best bet may be to follow the works of Jack Horner, who wants to engineer modern-day dinosaurs (aka ‘birds’) to gradually undo millions of years of evolution: