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No Chance of Being Chased by a Velociraptor in a Kitchen, Then?

Imaginations ran wild in 2007 when a team at Montana State University and elsewehere revealed that they'd isolated collagen from 80-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex bones — there immediately were visions of a real-life Jurassic Park. That same team later reported that it also isolated proteins from Brachylophosaurus canadensi, a hadrosaur.

The findings shook up the field, which had thought that such molecules would've degraded and had trouble reproducing it. But, years later, another lab in England also reported uncovering what seemed to be collagen and red blood cell fragments from slightly younger dinosaurs.

However, a team from the University of Manchester is dashing the idea of a real-life dinosaur theme park, the International Business Times reports. Manchester paleontologists analyzed collagen isolated from ostrich bones — an animal that had also been studied in the lab where the T. rex and B. canadensi were analyzed. That ostrich collagen, they say, looks a lot like what was reported to be dinosaur, and suggests that the previous results were due to contamination.

"Our work set out to identify the collagen fingerprints for both ostrich and alligator and was not intending to debunk the previous studies," says Mike Buckley from Manchester's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences in a statement. "However, we soon realized that our results were pulling the rug from beneath the paradigm that collagen might survive the ravages of deep time."

The Scan

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