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Final nail in Jurassic Park fantasy

The storage of ancient DNA in amber fossils, famously brought to life in the film Jurassic Park, now appears highly unlikely, new study suggests.

A team of researchers from the University of Manchester used sensitive “next generation” sequencing techniques – the most advance type of DNA sequencing - on insects in copal, the resin precursor of amber.

They concluded that their inability to detect ancient DNA in relatively young (60 to 10,600 years old) sub-fossilised insects in copal, suggests that the potential for DNA survival in resin is no better, and perhaps worse, than that in air-dried museum insects (from which DNA has been retrieved using similar techniques).

This raises significant doubts about claims of DNA extraction from fossil insects in amber, many millions of years older than copal.

Read more at University of Manchester

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