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Analyses of Soft Tissue from Tyrannosaurus rex Suggest the Presence of Protein

Science  13 Apr 2007:
Vol. 316, Issue 5822, pp. 277-280
DOI: 10.1126/science.1138709

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Abstract

We performed multiple analyses of Tyrannosaurus rex (specimen MOR 1125) fibrous cortical and medullary tissues remaining after demineralization. The results indicate that collagen I, the main organic component of bone, has been preserved in low concentrations in these tissues. The findings were independently confirmed by mass spectrometry. We propose a possible chemical pathway that may contribute to this preservation. The presence of endogenous protein in dinosaur bone may validate hypotheses about evolutionary relationships, rates, and patterns of molecular change and degradation, as well as the chemical stability of molecules over time.

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