This week in Science Magazine, a team led by Dr Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences reports finding a 68-million year old Tyrannosaurus rex fossil that appears to contain elastic soft tissues, blood vessels and cells and it’s still transparent and pliable. This goes against the conventional wisdom that soft tissue should not last beyond 100,000 years.

This presents the possibility of extracting its DNA and, through the miracle of science, growing your own T. Rex. I’ve been dreaming of this my whole life and now it’s a step closer due to U.S. Pat. No. 6,872,552, “A Method of Reconstituting Nucleic Acid Molecules” issued today to Burt D. Ensley, Ph.D, Chairman of MatrixDesign, and CEO of DermaPlus, Inc. This patent covers methods for recovering and reconstituting genes from “degraded” DNA samples, and could allow scientists to reassemble everything from prehistoric, extinct animals to unsolved crime scenes. See Press Release here.

While there’s a bit of rhetoric to the press release, Dr. Ensley stated that “by stringing together the pieces of aged DNA, we should be able to reconstruct genes from animals such as the wooly mammoth, giant sloth, saber-toothed cat or even from tissues of the Tyrannosaurus rex that was described last Friday in the journal Science.”

What could be cooler than this?

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