Remains of T. rex
A new analysis has shown traces of protein in the remains of T. rex.
Washington: A new analysis of the remains of a Tyrannosaurus rex that roamed Earth 68 million years ago has confirmed traces of protein from blood, bone and tendons.
These findings are the latest addition to an ongoing controversy over which biochemical remnants can be detected in the ferocious dinosaur.
Marshall Bern of the Palo Alto Research Centre (PARC), with colleagues Brett S Phinney and David Goldberg, point out that the first analysis in 2007 of a well-preserved, fossilized T rex bone identified traces of seven distinct protein fragments, or peptides, from collagen.
That material is one of the primary components of bone, tendons and other connective tissue. However, later studies disputed that finding, suggesting that it was a statistical fluke or the result of contamination from another laboratory sample.
The scientists describe re-analysis of the T. rex data and also report finding evidence of substances found in collagen.
"In summary, we find nothing obviously wrong with the Tyrannosaurus rex (analysis from 2007)," the report states.
"The identified peptides seem consistent with a sample containing old, quite possibly very ancient, bird-like bone, contaminated with only fairly explicable proteins.
"Haemoglobin and collagen are plausible proteins found in fossil bone, because they are two of the most abundant proteins in bone and bone marrow," the authors said.
The findings are slated for publication in the September issue of the Journal of Proteome Research.