Countless childhood dreams dissolved today upon the news that the calculated half-life of DNA figures out to around 521 years, all but invalidating the chances of a real-life "Jurassic Park."
The DNA fact-finding project involved a team of palaeogeneticists testing 158 leg bones belonging to three species of extinct giant moa birds ranging from 600 to 8,000 years old.
After running a series of comparisons between the age of the various bones and DNA degradation within each specimen, the researchers estimated that DNA's half-life works out to about 521 years after being kept in a swamp with an average temperature of 13.1 Celsius (55 Fahrenheit). Even a more ideal preservation temperature of minus 5 Celsius (23 Fahrenheit) would only result in readable DNA from specimens up to 1.5 million years old, meaning there is no possible way we can see a 65-million-year-old T-Rex waving its tiny arms about in this time frame. … Read more