DINOSAURIAN CELLULAR BIOLOGY
Soft tissues found in dinosaurs are a very controversial subject indeed. Are these microbes, contaminations, or could this be the remnants of the cells once part of these almost mythical creatures ? Mary Higby Schweitzer and colleagues tried to prove that these cells were in fact dinosaur cells, using different methods such as mass spectrometry and fluorescent stains. On this picture, they demonstrated a ressemblance between birds’ osteocytes and T. Rex cells. To be continued.
A: T.rex; D, B. canadensis; G: Ostrich cells showing small localized region of binding of anti-DNA antibodies interior to the cell membrane. B: Trex; E: B. canadensis; and H, ostrich osteocytes showing positive response to propidium iodide (PI), a DNA intercalating dye, to a similar small region of material internal to cell. C: T.rex; F: B. canadensis; and I, ostrich cellular response to 4′,6′-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride (DAPI), another DNA-specific stain.
Mary Higby Schweitzer et al. Molecular analyses of dinosaur osteocytes support the presence of endogenous molecules; Bone Volume 52, Issue 1 , Pages 414-423, January 2013