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21 comments

DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

Posted October 11, 2012 10:16 AM

From Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. - CNET:

Countless childhood dreams dissolved today upon the news that the calculated half-life of DNA figures out to around 521 years, all but invalidating the chances of a real-life "Jurassic Park."

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#1

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/11/2012 10:17 AM

Sigh. Was really banking on this....

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#2

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/11/2012 12:46 PM

I hope it serves as a reality check for those who believe that clonation makes an exact copy of you, instantly ! and of your same age ! and those who don't take into account that the protein that keeps the DNA string ends bonded (like the strings of your shoes), shortens with every cell division, thus shorten with age, and if the specimen is an adult, will pass very short "string end protectors" to the newborn an his DNA will start to degenerate very soon and will suffer an early death, plagued with degenerative disseases.

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#6
In reply to #2

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/12/2012 4:51 AM

Well, that's one way to make the day really cheerful! Thanks!

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#14
In reply to #6

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/12/2012 3:32 PM

But cheer up ! there's a lot of things we can do, not to bring the dead alive, but to keep the alive surviving, like not letting the water run while you brush teeth.

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#21
In reply to #14

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/17/2012 5:11 AM

Flippin' heck! Are we still on about that? I've been turning off the tap whilst brushing since The Lon Hot Summer of 1976. I just assumed all my contempories did.

I used to turn the shower of whilst soaping, but lately I find I spend as long (and as much water) waiting for the darned thing to send hot water through again.

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#15
In reply to #2

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/12/2012 5:56 PM

'...I hope it serves as a reality check for those who believe that clonation makes an exact copy of you, instantly ! and of your same age ! and those who don't take into account that the protein that keeps the DNA string ends bonded (like the strings of your shoes), shortens with every cell division, thus shorten with age, and if the specimen is an adult, will pass very short "string end protectors" to the newborn an his DNA...'

.

Actually, it sounds like you are arguing that the clone will be be of the same age as the clone-ee. Perhaps not fully developed, but already aged.

.

I do agree that current cloning technology is unlikely to yield great results (unless the goal was a juvenescent geriatric, or perhaps an antediluvian adolescent). this is a developing field, so it seems a bit premature to declare what won't be possible even in the near future.

.

Consider that there are several clonal species that have survived thousands of years with the same DNA.

.

Consider that there are nonclonal animal species with individual lifespans approaching the 1/2 life of DNA declared in this article.

.

Consider that bacteria and ancient seeds have be reanimated that are several times older than several times the 1/2 life of dna claimed in this article.

.

1/2 life is a description that should be reserved for things that decay in a substantially similar fashion to the decay of a radioactive isotope. While there are several examples in biology for which this works well, I don't think it is a good fit in this case.

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/15/2012 9:32 AM

Oh, no ! forgive my english, I wasn't clear, I meant it is absurd to expect a clonee of the same age as the specimen, it has to undergo gestation, birth etc.

  • Clonation is already posible, but not flawless, and by the way, not only limited to inferior organisms, remember Dolly?, guess what happened to her.
  • As per the species that have strived for thousands of years, I got a new old fact for you: the process of naturaly reproducing species, kind of "replenishes" those DNA end string protectors, but when you implant "used" DNA into the nucleus of an egg cell, it already comes with milleage.
  • Many species go into a latent state of life, but they're NOT dead. The same applies to the specimens that you refer to as having very long lifespans: they're not dead, thus their DNA is not exposed to chemical interactions with the sorroundings.
  • Well, I didn't say decay, but now that you mention it, everything decays, not only radioactive isotopes, have you heard of "soft errors"?.
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#3

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/11/2012 4:00 PM

This seems to be contradicted by the Neanderthal Genome project which is studying the DNA from Neanderthal bones that are 38,000 years old.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal_genome_project

I wonder, too, if the ability to stitch together broken pieces of DNA strings would allow scientists to take thousands, or millions, of fragments of dino DNA to piece together one complete sequence.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/11/2012 10:34 PM

Yes- it would be the supercalifragilisticexpealidociousaurous!!

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#5

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/11/2012 11:34 PM

There is a wee difference between 38,000 and 65,000,000 years....

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/12/2012 8:15 AM

Duh. But there is also a bit of a difference between the 521 years the article says is the half-life for DNA and the 38,000 to 100,000 years for the still-recoverable and testable Neanderthal DNA in that genome project. Sure the dino DNA would be effectively 1700 times older than the Neanderthal DNA, so maybe not recoverable. But my point is that something seems to be wrong with their half-life model because it says there shouldn't be any Neanderthal DNA around to sequence.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/12/2012 8:26 AM

......or maybe Neanderthal DNA is not very old.

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#9
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Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/12/2012 9:50 AM

......or maybe Neanderthal DNA is still present... human fossils don't mean too much for me, you find the same or even greater diversity of skeleton and skull conformations just assisting to a football game and watching the crowd.

Human is human since it is human, and in the 100's of thousands of years of "evolution", we've never seen monkeys gradually approaching us (seen the opposite many times though).

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/12/2012 9:54 AM

OUCH!! Had to give that a GA for the opposite comment! Wouldn't have happened to be at said football games..?

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/12/2012 10:01 AM

Yes, the Neanderthal's walk among us.............

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/12/2012 12:28 PM

I have watched a number of documentaries on the Neanderthal and I can assure you that in every single one when they show what they may have looked like I can name at least two or more people whom I know personally that have an uncanny physical appearance similar to what Neanderthal men and women may have looked like.

The real scary part is I have seen a few women in bars that could be pass for a neanderthal man in drag.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/12/2012 1:28 PM

The real scary part is I have seen a few women in bars that could be pass for a neanderthal man in drag.

Well, as it get later in the evening.....er morning, at they start to look attractive.......RUN!

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#16
In reply to #13

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/15/2012 8:22 AM

Nope, a wise old man's advice is:

"When you enter to a bar, rapidly choose and hold with you the most horrible, fat, hairy broad you see; because that is the one you were going to take with you late night, when you're all drunk anyways".

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/15/2012 11:04 PM

I've never gone to bed with an ugly woman.......I've awakened with a few though.....

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#19
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Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/16/2012 8:16 AM

And then we wander why haven't we evolved since we are humans...

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#20

Re: DNA Decay Rate Makes 'Jurassic Park' Impossible

10/16/2012 12:24 PM

yes but that's why they had to insert frog DNA with hilarious consequences, the bit I didn't like about the book was the transmission power from tracks to the vehicles I accepted the cloning but rejected the power transmission. Now it's under discussion! It will never happen, quote me on that. Unfortunately there was a plot device which made it necessary - spoiled the book for me.

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