Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 2
Goofyhoofy: Turns out the half-life of DNA is 521 years, so the idea of finding an insect preserved in amber that happened to have just sucked up some dinosaur blood is, well, just a Hollywood fantasy. Not that it always wasn't, but there were some scientists who were hoping.

Somedays I'm appalled with Wired, which also ran with this story.

The "half life" of DNA, unlike radio-nuclides, is *highly* variable, depending very strongly on temperature and humidity, particularly, as well as a variety of other factors (light, microbes, ...). So we have decent T. Rex DNA, which is many millions of years old, and thousands of instances of unusable DNA only a few weeks old.

It's so variable as to make the concept of "half life" meaningless.

rj
Print the post  

Announcements

What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Community Home
Speak Your Mind, Start Your Blog, Rate Your Stocks

Community Team Fools - who are those TMF's?
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.
Advertisement