Just two short months ago, the Internet got word that some crazy Australian billionaire (Clive Palmer) was planning to attempt to clone a dinosaur from its DNA and start his own Jurassic Park park. (Also, it is never not worth mentioning that he is also planning to build a Titanic 2.) (This guy.) “What an absolutely stupid and terrible idea that is obviously not even going to work,” said no one because everyone’s so dumb. “OMG that would be so awesome!!!!!” is probably closer to what everyone said. Well YOU CAN’T EVEN HAVE IT, SO GO TO BED! From Nature.com:
By comparing the specimens’ ages and degrees of DNA degradation, the researchers calculated that DNA has a half-life of 521 years. That means that after 521 years, half of the bonds between nucleotides in the backbone of a sample would have broken; after another 521 years half of the remaining bonds would have gone; and so on.
The team predicts that even in a bone at an ideal preservation temperature of −5 ºC, effectively every bond would be destroyed after a maximum of 6.8 million years [the last dinos roamed some 65-million years ago]. The DNA would cease to be readable much earlier — perhaps after roughly 1.5 million years, when the remaining strands would be too short to give meaningful information.
“Ooooh, look at meeeeee, I’m a sciiiiennttiiiiiiist, oooh, la de daaaa, look at meeee, look at my glassseeess, they’re brooooooookkkeeeeen.” -Scientist. I hope you guys aren’t too heartbroken by this obvious news. It’s always sad when you learn that a horrifying movie about ancient monsters coming to life and murdering everyone isn’t going to be recreated, but I do think we’ll all be able to move on eventually, somehow. (Via TheWeek.)