Brachylophosaurus was a mid-sized member of the hadrosaurid family of dinosaurs living about 78 million years ago, and is known from several skeletons and bonebed material from the Judith River Formation of Montana and the Oldman Formation of Alberta. Recent fossil evidence indicates structures similar to blood vessels in location and morphology, have been recovered after demineralization of multiple dinosaur cortical bone fragments from multiple specimens, some of which are as old as 80 Ma. These structures were hypothesized to be either endogenous to the bone (i.e., of vascular origin) or the result of biofilm colonizing the empty network after degradation of original organic components (i.e., bacterial, slime mold or fungal in origin). Cleland et al. (1) tested the hypothesis that these structures are endogenous and thus retain proteins in common with extant archosaur blood vessels that can be detected with high-resolution mass spectrometry and confirmed by immunofluorescence. Continue reading “Dino Protein: New Methods for Old (Very) Samples”
The Rise of Dinosaur Proteomics?
Years ago when I was still working in the lab, I was looking for control RNA options for my experiment in the Ambion catalog when I came across a listing for dinosaur brain RNA and DNA. I had to call their customer service and ask about the items because I could not believe such things existed. The representative I spoke with said I had found their joke listing and sent me a free t-shirt. While we are not quite to the point of selling dinosaur nucleic acid in life science company catalogs, there is some intriguing research in the journal Bone that does suggest that fossilized dinosaur osteocytes and associated proteins may be within our grasp. Continue reading “The Rise of Dinosaur Proteomics?”