Two years ago, when paleontologist Mary Schweitzer claimed to have obtained blood cells and collagen protein from the thigh bones of a fossilized Tyrannosaurus Rex, she got nothing but grief.
Paleontologists didn’t want to hear that living tissue had been found on a creature they claimed had lived and died more than 65 million years ago. They have in large measure refused to believe or accept that she had found living tissue.
Creationists on the other hand, were happy to accept that she had found living tissue, but rightly pointed out that it was a strong indication that this dinosaur had lived much more recently than science claimed. In fact, Christians rather expected that living tissue might be found on dinosaur remains. This of course upset the evolutionists even more and did little for her credibility with her fellow paleontologists.
“Last year, one group reinterpreted the so-called soft tissues as nothing more than bacterial biofilms, “cities” of bacteria not unlike the plaque on your teeth or slime on moist rocks. ”
If Schweitzer keeps this up she might end up like Virginia Steen-McIntyre, who also gave them what they didn’t want. That’s because Schweitzer has done it again. This time she claims to have found living tissue in the bones of a dinosaur more than 80,000,000 years old.
We say, as long as we’re dealing with evolutionary “monopoly years”, why not living tissue a billion years old? And we say along with her fellow paleontologists; there’s no way that living tissue could survive that long in fossilized remains”……s8int.com
Thanks for the heads up, Marc P.
Article by Ed Yong, April 2009
“These cells look like fairly typical bone cells. They appear to be connected to each other by thin branch-like projections and are embedded in a white matrix of fibres. At their centres are dark red spots that are probably their nuclei. But it’s not their appearance that singles out these extraordinary cells – it’s their source. You’re looking at the bone cells of a dinosaur.
They come from an animal called Brachylophosaurus, a duck-billed dinosaur that lived over 80 million years ago. By looking at one of its thigh bones, Mary Schweitzer from North Carolina State University has managed to recover not just bone cells, but possible blood vessels and collagen protein too. Their presence in the modern day is incredible. Time usually isn’t kind to such tissues, which decay and degrade long before harder structures like bones, teeth and armour are fossilised.
This is the second time that Schweitzer’s team have recovered ancient protein from dinosaur bones. Two years ago, they pulled off a similar trick with collagen protein from the bones of Tyrannosaurus rex. That discovery was a controversial one, and many scientists were justly sceptical. Last year, one group reinterpreted the so-called soft tissues as nothing more than bacterial biofilms, “cities” of bacteria not unlike the plaque on your teeth or slime on moist rocks.
Now, Schweitzer has returned with another volley in the debate, and one which considerably strengthens the case for preserved Cretaceous proteins. From the bone of Brachylophosaurus, she has uncovered tissues that bind to antibodies designed to target collagen and other proteins not found in bacteria, including haemoglobin and elastin. And her experiments were duplicated by independent researchers from five different laboratories. It seems that her Tyrannnosaurus discovery was far from a one-hit wonder.
Schweitzer attributed the staying power of the Tyrannosaurus tissues to the fact that the animal was deeply buried in sandstone. So this time, when she discovered the skeleton of a Brachylophosaurus in the same condition, she was ready to ensure that its thigh bone made it from dig site to test tube as quickly as possible. The bone itself was never exposed to the elements. It was sealed in a jacket of the same sediment it was preserved in. Back in the lab, it was uncovered, quickly wrapped in foil using sterile tools, and placed in sealed jars with dehydrating crystals until it could be analysed.
The team stripped the minerals away from some fragments to leave behind microscopic structures that strongly resembled blood vessels and cells, preserved in a matrix of parallel fibres. For comparison, they subjected the bones of a modern ostrich to the same treatment.
The fibrous matrix was indistinguishable from those in ostrich bone and glowed under a mercury lamp just as modern bone collagen does. The cells had the same texture, size and features of modern bone cells, including potential nuclei at their centre, and thin projections called filopodia that connected them to each other and the surrounding matrix. The vessels were transparent, hollow and flexible and contained a red substance that looked like dried blood; again, their texture was very similar to that of ostrich blood vessels.
…..These results strongly support Schweitzer’s assertion that the white fibres she recovered from dinosaur bones were indeed collagen, the cells were bone cells and the vessels were blood vessels. She even had her experiments successfully repeated by two other independent laboratories headed by Raghu Kalluri and Lewis Cantley. ”