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The Dreams of Millions, Dashed

The giant Tyrannosaurus rex and the stealthy Velociraptors of Jurassic Park came to be after the fictional movie and book geneticists isolated their DNA from the guts of biting insects that had fed on the dinosaurs before preserved in amber.

That's likely not possible, a new study in PLOS One from researchers at the University of Manchester says. Using next-generation sequencing, the investigators were not able to obtain any DNA from bees encased in copal, a precursor to amber. Those bees were 60 years old and 10,000 years old — younger than the 65 million-year-old T. rex and the 71 million-year-old Velociraptor.

"Unfortunately, the Jurassic Park scenario must remain in the realms of fiction," first author David Penney said in a statement. GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study here.

For fans of the movie, though, a fourth one in the series, dubbed Jurassic World is coming to theaters in June, 2015. We agree with E! on the need for a better role for the triceratops.

The Scan

Call to Look Again

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In Science this week: a novel RNA structural element that acts as a splicing enhancer, and more.