Scientists Recreate Dino DNA From Modern Ancestors

first_img We still can’t visit a real-life Jurassic Park (nor would most people probably want to). But scientists at the University of Kent have discovered the next best thing.By comparing the genomes of different species, the team was able to determine how the chromosomes of some popular dinosaurs—like the Velociraptor or Tyrannosaurus—might have looked through a microscope.Analysts used biotechnology to analyze data from a Carolina anole lizard, chicken, mallard, zebra finch, and grey short-tailed opossum, each boasting “robust” chromosome-level assembled genomes.(Those generated from alligators and turtles were too fragmented for consideration, while the turkey, budgerigar, and ostrich were ultimately excluded due to an increased possibility of false positives.)They traced and compared genetic lineage of contemporary animals to common ancestors living 260 million years ago—20 million years before the first dinosaurs. Analysts were able to estimate chromosomal changes across evolutionary time.Their findings, published this week in the journal Nature Communications, reveal that while chromosomes regularly rearrange their internal genes, relationships between DNA have remained fairly stable—a “significant discovery,” according to the University of Kent.“Remaining largely unchanged interchromosomally through the dinosaur-theropod route that led to modern birds,” the research paper said, “intrachromosomal changes nonetheless reveal evolutionary breakpoint regions enriched for genes with ontology terms related to chromatin organization and transcription.”Birds, like their dino predecessors, have a lot of chromosomes, which could be the reason for such diversity among the feathered creatures.“Our results suggest that most elements of a typical ‘avian-like’ karyotype … were in place before the divergence of turtles from birds [about] 255 [million years ago],” the team wrote. “This genome organization therefore predates the emergence of early dinosaurs and pterosaurs and the evolution of flight.”If scientists were to recreate chromosomes from a hollow-boned, three-toed theropod dinosaur, it may look a lot like a modern-day ostrich, duck, or chicken.Recent dino discoveries include a giant crock with T. Rex teeth, and 80-million-year-old fossils that unlock Africa’s dinosaur evolution. Also, check out 10 historic dinosaur hoaxes you won’t believe we fell for and more here.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Scientists Uncover New Evidence of Asteroid That Killed DinosaursEgg Fossils Provide Glimpse Into Prehistoric Parenting Stay on targetlast_img read more