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Ancient T. rex and mastodon protein fragments discovered, sequenced
National Science Foundation ^ | 12-Apr-2007 | Cheryl Dybas

Posted on 04/12/2007 12:43:57 PM PDT by AdmSmith

68-million-year-old T. rex proteins are oldest ever sequenced

Scientists have confirmed the existence of protein in soft tissue recovered from the fossil bones of a 68 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex (T. rex) and a half-million-year-old mastodon.

Their results may change the way people think about fossil preservation and present a new method for studying diseases in which identification of proteins is important, such as cancer.

When an animal dies, protein immediately begins to degrade and, in the case of fossils, is slowly replaced by mineral. This substitution process was thought to be complete by 1 million years. Researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and Harvard Medical School now know otherwise.

The researchers' findings appear as companion papers in this week's issue of the journal Science.

"Not only was protein detectably present in these fossils, the preserved material was in good enough condition that it could be identified," said Paul Filmer, program director in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Earth Sciences, which funded the research. "We now know much more about what conditions proteins can survive in. It turns out that some proteins can survive for very long time periods, far longer than anyone predicted."

Mary Schweitzer of NCSU and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences discovered soft tissue in the leg bone of a T. rex and other fossils recovered from the Hell Creek sediment formation in Montana.

After her chemical and molecular analyses of the tissue indicated that original protein fragments might be preserved, she turned to colleagues John Asara and Lewis Cantley of Harvard Medical School, to see if they could confirm her suspicions by finding the amino acid used to make collagen, a fibrous protein found in bone.

Bone is a composite material, consisting of both protein and mineral. In modern bones, when minerals are removed, a collagen matrix--fibrous, resilient material that gives the bones structure and flexibility--is left behind. When Schweitzer demineralized the T. rex bone, she was surprised to find such a matrix, because current theories of fossilization held that no original organic material could survive that long.

"This information will help us learn more about evolutionary relationships, about how preservation happens, and about how molecules degrade over time, which could have important applications in medicine," Schweitzer said.

To see if the material had characteristics indicating the presence of collagen, which is plentiful, durable and has been recovered from other fossil materials, the scientists examined the resulting soft tissue with electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. They then tested it against various antibodies that are known to react with collagen. Identifying collagen would indicate that it is original to T. rex--that the tissue contains remnants of the molecules produced by the dinosaur.

"This is the breakthrough that says it's possible to get sequences beyond 1 million years," said Cantley. "At 68 million years, it's still possible."

Asara and Cantley successfully sequenced portions of the dinosaur and mastodon proteins, identifying the amino acids and confirming that the material was collagen. When they compared the collagen sequences to a database that contains existing sequences from modern species, they found that the T. rex sequence had similarities to those of chickens, and that the mastodon was more closely related to mammals, including the African elephant.

The protein fragments in the T. rex fossil appear to most closely match amino acid sequences found in collagen of present-day chickens, lending support to the idea that birds and dinosaurs are evolutionarily related.

"Most people believe that birds evolved from dinosaurs, but that's based on the 'architecture' of the bones," Asara said. "This finding allows us the ability to say that they really are related because their sequences are related."

"Scientists had long assumed that the material in fossil bones would not be preserved after millions of years of burial," said Enriqueta Barrera, program director in NSF's Division of Earth Sciences. "This discovery has implications for the study of similarly well-preserved fossil material."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: callingcolsanders; dinosaurs; dlrhumor; godsgravesglyphs; maryschweitzer; mastodon; science; yecapologetics
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1 posted on 04/12/2007 12:44:00 PM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: blam; SunkenCiv
T. rex sequence had similarities to those of chickens, and that the mastodon was more closely related to mammals, including the African elephant.

COOL

2 posted on 04/12/2007 12:45:28 PM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
Taste like... T. Rex!

3 posted on 04/12/2007 12:47:05 PM PDT by beeber (stuned)
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To: AdmSmith
Jurassic Park! Just don’t make any of those crazy-ass Velociraptors.
4 posted on 04/12/2007 12:47:07 PM PDT by Jaysun (I took one look at her unfashionable eyebrows and thought to myself, "she's literally crazy.")
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To: AdmSmith; hellinahandcart; Lil'freeper; Carry_Okie

This is a really cool story.


5 posted on 04/12/2007 12:49:24 PM PDT by sauropod ("An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools." Ernest Hemingway)
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To: AdmSmith
the mastodon was more closely related to mammals

Not surprisingly, since the mastodon was a mammal.

6 posted on 04/12/2007 12:51:08 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.)
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To: Jaysun

“Jurassic Park! Just don’t make any of those crazy-ass Velociraptors.”

I don’t know. I’d like to have one for residence security. You know, keep an eye on my STUFF when I’m not around.


7 posted on 04/12/2007 12:51:09 PM PDT by mutley
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To: AdmSmith

We were promised steak and all we get is gristle?


8 posted on 04/12/2007 12:55:59 PM PDT by js1138 (The absolute seriousness of someone who is terminally deluded.)
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To: beeber
I bet those eggs would make one bad-ass omelet.
9 posted on 04/12/2007 1:05:16 PM PDT by HaveHadEnough
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To: mutley
I don’t know. I’d like to have one for residence security. You know, keep an eye on my STUFF when I’m not around.

Yeah, until it started seducing your wife or cutting your brake lines.
10 posted on 04/12/2007 1:05:30 PM PDT by Jaysun (I took one look at her unfashionable eyebrows and thought to myself, "she's literally crazy.")
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To: AdmSmith
T. rex sequence had similarities to those of chickens

You'd need a heck of a big beer can to roast a T-rex. ;-)

11 posted on 04/12/2007 1:08:14 PM PDT by fanfan ("We don't start fights my friends, but we finish them, and never leave until our work is done."PMSH)
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To: AdmSmith
Now this is a fascinating article.

Science is truly an amazing process.

12 posted on 04/12/2007 1:10:12 PM PDT by Wormwood (Future Former Freeper)
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To: AdmSmith

Kentucky fried T-Rex


13 posted on 04/12/2007 1:22:07 PM PDT by Eternal_Bear
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To: mutley
I don’t know. I’d like to have one for residence security. You know, keep an eye on my STUFF when I’m not around.

I wouldn't keep its eye on your stuff. You are its stuff....

14 posted on 04/12/2007 1:32:17 PM PDT by Cogadh na Sith (There's an open road from the cradle to the tomb.)
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To: AdmSmith

Oh great, next we’ll all be afraid of dinosaur prions.


15 posted on 04/12/2007 1:42:50 PM PDT by dangerdoc (dangerdoc (not actually dangerous any more))
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To: ASA Vet

Self Ping IBTH


16 posted on 04/12/2007 1:44:53 PM PDT by ASA Vet (http://www.rinorepublic.com)
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To: AdmSmith

I am sorry, but it has to be said...If any of you are so stupid as to believe that tissue can survive tens of millions of years and remain soft tissue, you are stupid beyond hope.


17 posted on 04/12/2007 1:45:59 PM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty: The Pendleton 8...down to 3..GWB, we hardly knew ye...)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Ping


18 posted on 04/12/2007 2:08:04 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: RaceBannon
It is in the bone not the soft tissues. If you check this link tomorrow Friday you may read the abstract http://www.sciencemag.org/content/vol316/issue5822/index.dtl

Analyses of Soft Tissue from Tyrannosaurus rex Suggest the Presence of Protein
Mary Higby Schweitzer, Zhiyong Suo, Recep Avci, John M. Asara, Mark A. Allen, Fernando Teran Arce, and John R. Horner
Science 13 April 2007: 277-280.
Mass spectroscopy reveals the protein sequence of collagen preserved in a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil, demonstrating that biochemical data can be obtained from long-extinct species.

19 posted on 04/12/2007 2:13:21 PM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith; editor-surveyor; DaveLoneRanger

There is at least one other thread on this topic that you (editor surveyor and DLR) weren’t pinged to (at least from this end).


20 posted on 04/12/2007 2:14:56 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: RaceBannon
“I am sorry, but it has to be said...If any of you are so stupid as to believe that tissue can survive tens of millions of years and remain soft tissue, you are stupid beyond hope.”

Why not? Carbon-carbon bonds are strong. Some amino acids are very stable, and even of “mineral origin”. Why can’t a polymer of amino-acids survive hermetically sealed inside of rock? What qualifies you to eliminate the possibility that any protein can survive for this long? What qualifies you to call people stupid?

21 posted on 04/12/2007 2:26:04 PM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: AdmSmith
Addendum: The soft tissue described in the article is not fleshy soft tissue but the matrix in the bone.



Ancient proteins have been found in bones like those of a 68-million-year-old dinosaur T. rex fossil. (Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation)
22 posted on 04/12/2007 2:28:31 PM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: js1138
...all we get is gristle?

Need a toothpick? Here...

Have a few!

23 posted on 04/12/2007 2:39:10 PM PDT by BlueDragon (never hire on to go out to sea, on a boat that has shiny pump handles!)
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To: Cogadh na Sith

“I wouldn’t keep its eye on your stuff. You are its stuff....”

Deeno might think so...until the first skirmish. Then it would learn it’s place. I’m the alfa dinosaur around here.


24 posted on 04/12/2007 2:39:10 PM PDT by mutley
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To: Coyoteman

Here we go again ping.


25 posted on 04/12/2007 2:41:04 PM PDT by ASA Vet (http://www.rinorepublic.com)
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To: AdmSmith
"Scientists had long assumed that the material in fossil bones would not be preserved after millions of years of burial,..."

Well, maybe these T-Rex Tenders are not older than 1 million years. Did anyone ever consider this? Of course not, because that would blow the whole evolutionary timeline. The similarity of collagen may very well suggest that the 68-million year age for T-rex is mistaken, not as "distant" as commonly thought.

Since the age attributed to T-Rex is due to corresponding dates of geologic formations the fossils are found it, this also suggests that these formations are not as old as once thought.

26 posted on 04/12/2007 2:47:40 PM PDT by nonsporting (<P>)
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To: mutley; sauropod
I don’t know. I’d like to have one for residence security. You know, keep an eye on my STUFF when I’m not around.

But can you teach it to fetch the paper? I wonder...

27 posted on 04/12/2007 2:52:46 PM PDT by Lil'freeper (You do not have the plug-in required to view this tagline.)
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To: Born to Conserve

“What qualifies you to eliminate the possibility that any protein can survive for this long? What qualifies you to call people stupid?”

This seems to happen, sadly, too frequently. Someone declares an absolute, and then declares anyone who says anything against said absolute, is stupid. It reminds me of those who’s entire scientific understanding is based on the bible. With little or no room for anything removed from that. Now, that is stupid in my book. The poster is not qualified to do it, they just have the ability to do it.


28 posted on 04/12/2007 2:54:26 PM PDT by mutley
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To: nonsporting

The article is embargoed until tomorrow, but do not worry, the T Rex is older than 1 M yr.


29 posted on 04/12/2007 3:08:30 PM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
The article is embargoed until tomorrow, but do not worry, the T Rex is older than 1 M yr.

How do we know this?

30 posted on 04/12/2007 4:12:09 PM PDT by nonsporting (<P>)
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To: mutley; AdmSmith

I’m just wondering about the size of the dog that buried that T. Rex thighbone.


31 posted on 04/12/2007 4:45:11 PM PDT by NicknamedBob (I know where I have gone wrong, and I can cite it, chapter and verse.)
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To: nonsporting
"How do we know this?"

If you won't accept any other evidence, consider continental drift.

From the locations where T. Rex and other dinosaurs were found, either they were adapted to colder climates, or the continents drifted tectonically to reach their present locations carrying the bones of the dinosaurs.

It takes a lot of time to move a continent. Heck, I'd have trouble pushing a Continental more than a couple of blocks.

32 posted on 04/12/2007 4:58:14 PM PDT by NicknamedBob (I know where I have gone wrong, and I can cite it, chapter and verse.)
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To: nonsporting
" this also suggests that these formations are not as old as once thought."

Look out, these guys get touchy when you notice that their pants are down...

33 posted on 04/12/2007 5:05:55 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Turning the general election into a second Democrat primary is not a winning strategy.)
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To: editor-surveyor
Look out, these guys get touchy when you notice that their pants are down...

You would be the one to notice.

34 posted on 04/12/2007 5:45:27 PM PDT by js1138 (The absolute seriousness of someone who is terminally deluded.)
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To: nonsporting
Well, maybe these T-Rex Tenders are not older than 1 million years. Did anyone ever consider this? Of course not, because that would blow the whole evolutionary timeline.

On the other hand, perhaps there is no reason to think that dinosaurs existed after about 65 or so million years ago, which is what the evidence currently suggests.

If there is evidence out there, lets see it!

Folks who posit vegetarian dinosaurs cavorting around the meadows with humans need to provide some evidence.

The last 6,000 or so years are quite well known. I have been doing archaeology in sites of that age for 35 years. I have found all sorts of critters, including numerous human burials, but never a dinosaur bone. Neither have any of my colleagues. Dinosaur bones are found in rock formations, while the archaeology of the past several dozen millennia is conducted in soils!

So, if you are positing young dinosaurs, what is your evidence?

35 posted on 04/12/2007 6:25:09 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: AdmSmith; 75thOVI; AFPhys; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; Avoiding_Sulla; BenLurkin; Berosus; ...
Thanks AdmSmith for the ping.
 
Catastrophism
 
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic ·
 

36 posted on 04/12/2007 11:13:57 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Monday, April 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: AdmSmith

related:

PRESERVED T. Rex Soft Tissue RECOVERED (Pic)
Star Tribune | 03.24.05 | Randolph Schmid
Posted on 03/24/2005 3:04:54 PM EST by wallcrawlr
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1369945/posts

Would you Adam ‘n’ Eve it ... dinosaurs in Eden
(CRE-VO) Mixing science with creationism
THE OBSERVER | 2005May 22, 2005 | By Paul Harris
Posted on 05/25/2005 12:14:01 AM EDT by restornu
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1409928/posts
24 posted on 05/25/2005 4:13:53 PM EDT by tahotdog
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1409928/posts?page=24#24

Dinosaur Shocker
(YEC say dinosaur soft tissue couldnít possibly survive millions of years)
Smithsonian Magazine | May 1, 2006 | Helen Fields
Posted on 05/01/2006 11:29:14 AM EDT by SirLinksalot
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/backroom/1624642/posts


37 posted on 04/12/2007 11:18:49 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Monday, April 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv; DaveLoneRanger
Sequenced?

I don't think so.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/data/316/5822/277/DC1/1

38 posted on 04/13/2007 12:35:40 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC; SunkenCiv; DaveLoneRanger
Sequenced?

I don't think so.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/data/316/5822/277/DC1/1

Wrong article. Try this.

39 posted on 04/13/2007 7:03:29 AM PDT by ahayes ("Impenetrability! That's what I say!")
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To: AdmSmith; gobucks; mikeus_maximus; JudyB1938; isaiah55version11_0; Elsie; LiteKeeper; AndrewC; ...


You have been pinged because of your interest regarding news, debate and editorials pertaining to the Creation vs. Evolution debate - from the young-earth creationist perspective.
To to get on or off this list (currently the premier list for creation/evolution news!), freep-mail me:
Add me / Remove me



More t-rex burger updates. They thought this process was done within a million years, but...now they guess they were wrong! The trick is not knowing when to admit you're wrong, but in what you admit you were wrong about.
40 posted on 04/13/2007 8:31:12 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (He is Risen)
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To: ahayes

He’s no doubt thinking of DNA sequencing, which this is not.

I recall a rather extended exchange with someone over the phrase “recessive genes” as applied to bacteria. It appears that terminology is not strict enough to avoid misunderstandings, when misunderstanding is the goal.


41 posted on 04/13/2007 8:46:54 AM PDT by js1138 (The absolute seriousness of someone who is terminally deluded.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
The trick is not knowing when to admit you're wrong, but in what you admit you were wrong about.

Son, when you learn some science and have practiced it for a couple of decades, then you can lecture us on it.

You seem to think that you can do a quick scan of AnswersInGenesis and become an expert on science. It doesn't work that way.

42 posted on 04/13/2007 9:19:18 AM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;316/5822/277


43 posted on 04/13/2007 9:30:14 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Monday, April 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Coyoteman; DaveLoneRanger

You know where you can take your false pedantry.

This isn’t science, it’s pure propaganda, sonny boy.

Your problem is that you don’t understand well enough to realize that you’re defending the ridiculous.


44 posted on 04/13/2007 9:31:42 AM PDT by editor-surveyor (Turning the general election into a second Democrat primary is not a winning strategy.)
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To: nonsporting

Uhh...Cause our ancestors would have been eaten if they existed at the same time as them.


45 posted on 04/13/2007 9:39:29 AM PDT by miliantnutcase ("If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it." -ichabod1)
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Cruelly enough, “nipple-teeth” were indeed mammals...

“Mastodons or Mastodonts (meaning ‘nipple-teeth’) are members of the extinct genus Mammut of the order Proboscidea and form the family Mammutidae; they resembled, but were distinct from, the woolly mammoth which belongs to the family Elephantidae... Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Proboscidea Family: Mammutidae Genus: Mammut”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastodon

“Proboscidea is an order containing only one family of living animals, Elephantidae, the elephants, with three living species (African Bush Elephant, African Forest Elephant, and Asian Elephant)”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proboscidea

“The elephants (Elephantidae) are a family of pachyderm, and the only remaining family in the order Proboscidea in the class Mammalia. Elephantidae has three living species: the African Bush Elephant, the African Forest Elephant (until recently known collectively as the African Elephant), and the Asian Elephant (also known as the Indian Elephant). Other species have become extinct since the last ice age, which ended about 10,000 years ago, the Mammoth being the most famous of these. Elephants are mammals...”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephantidae


46 posted on 04/13/2007 9:58:49 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Monday, April 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blam
You've probably noticed that I restrained myself from pinging the GGG list? I had my reasons. ;')
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

47 posted on 04/13/2007 10:10:34 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Monday, April 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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a new one...
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

48 posted on 04/13/2007 10:18:03 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Monday, April 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Coyoteman
You sound like Dan Rather. It's elitism like that that turns the public against you.

Hugs from your affectionate son,
Dave.

49 posted on 04/13/2007 10:47:29 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (He is Risen)
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To: AdmSmith

“The protein fragments in the T. rex fossil appear to most closely match amino acid sequences found in collagen of present-day chickens, lending support to the idea that birds and dinosaurs are evolutionarily related.”

“T. rex Francese.” Has an appetizing ring to it. But the left-overs would defintely be a problem.


50 posted on 04/13/2007 11:01:41 AM PDT by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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