Bad news for dinosaur fans

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:

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