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Fossil protein breakthrough will probe evolution
NewScientist.com news service ^ | 19:00 13 November 02 | Fred Pearce

Posted on 11/13/2002 1:16:37 PM PST by dead

The first complete sequencing of protein from a fossil bone suggests that proteins can survive for millions of years - long enough to probe the evolution of many extinct species, including the ancestors of modern humans.

For many years, biologists have deduced evolutionary relationships from the visible features of living animals and fossils. Molecular biology has given them a new tool for living animals - comparing DNA sequences. However, DNA survives for only a short time after death, so paleontologists have been limited to comparing the shapes and sizes of the bones of extinct species.

But analyzing ancient proteins now gives them a new option, says Christina Nielsen-Marsh of the University of Newcastle, because their amino acid sequences reflect genetic codes.

The big advantage of proteins is their stability in suitable environments. Pieces of DNA large enough to sequence using sensitive amplification techniques can survive for 100,000 years in permafrost. But osteocalcin, a structural protein that bonds directly to the minerals of bone, lasts much longer.

Matthew Collins, also at Newcastle University, estimates that osteocalcin can survive for more than 100 million years at 0 °C, and for some 10 million years at 10 °C. That would be long enough to look back some six or seven million years to the last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees.

Exact match

To show the potential of their technique, Nielsen-Marsh and colleagues sequenced the amino acids in osteocalcin extracted from bones of the extinct steppe bison (Bison priscus) found in permafrost in Siberia and Alaska. Both bones are a minimum of 55,000 years old, the limit of carbon dating.

The complete sequences of amino acids exactly matched that of the modern bison (Bison bison). They differ by a single amino acid from modern cattle, which are thought to have diverged from bison at least a million years ago. Previous work has detected - but not isolated or sequenced - proteins in 120 million year old dinosaur bone.

Although osteocalcin sequences diverge slowly, they can probe evolution over millions of years. "Human evolution, is the most exciting of the possibilities," says Peter Hauschka of the Harvard Medical School, US, who worked with Nielsen-Marsh. Osteocalcins differ by a few amino acids in humans, chimps and orangutans, he says, so they could help identify the nearest living relatives of suitable fossils.

Hominid fossils are few and far between, and it could be hard to persuade anthropologists to give them up for the destructive analysis. Yet teeth also contain osteocalcin, and they are much more common fossils.

Osteocalcin itself may not be able to determine the puzzling lineages of australopithecines and humans over the past two million years, but the method could be applied to other proteins that might give a clearer picture.

Journal reference: Geology (vol 30, p 1099)


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: crevolist; godsgravesglyphs
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1 posted on 11/13/2002 1:16:37 PM PST by dead
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To: dead
Good article. I'll add it to my collection.
2 posted on 11/13/2002 1:19:58 PM PST by stanz
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To: PatrickHenry
ping
3 posted on 11/13/2002 1:20:40 PM PST by stanz
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To: VadeRetro; jennyp; Junior; longshadow; *crevo_list; RadioAstronomer; Scully; Piltdown_Woman; ...
General crevo ping.
4 posted on 11/13/2002 2:29:23 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry
This one is going to be fun.
Anyone care to guess the number of posts before f.Christian appears? 15 is now taken.
5 posted on 11/13/2002 2:30:36 PM PST by Saturnalia
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To: Saturnalia
I recall the time they found those fossilized mosquitoes, and before long, they were cloning DNA
Now, I'm being chased by some irate velociraptors, well, believe me, this has been one lousy day.

Jurrasic park is frightning in the dark all the dinosaurs are running wild.
Someone shut the fence off in the rain
I admit it's kinda eerie, but this proves my "Chaos Theory"
And I don't think I'll be coming back again,
Oh noooo!

I cannot approve of this attraction, 'cause getting disembowled always makes me kinda mad.
A huge Tyrannosaurus ate our lawyer, well I suppose that proves they're really not all bad.

Jurrasic park is frightning in the dark
all the dinosaurs are running wild
Someone let T-rex out of his pen.
I'm afraid those things will harm me
Cause they sure don't act like Barney
And they think that I'm their dinner, not their friend
Oh nooo!

**Tortured screams**

Jurrasic park is frightning in the dark
All the dinosaurs are running wild
What a crummy weekend this has been.
Well, this sure ain't no E-ticket
Think I'll tell them where to stick it
'Cause I'm never coming back this way, again!
Oh nooo!!! whoooaahh nooooo!


6 posted on 11/13/2002 2:33:34 PM PST by Poohbah
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: dead
Excellent!
8 posted on 11/13/2002 2:39:53 PM PST by Nebullis
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To: Saturnalia
Anyone care to guess the number of posts before f.Christian appears?

It depends on when his siezures subside and they decide it's save to let him have access to the keyboard. Posting here has a calming effect on him, so his keepers encourage it.

9 posted on 11/13/2002 2:41:29 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: greasyHeart
ever the optimist...
10 posted on 11/13/2002 2:43:59 PM PST by null and void
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To: Saturnalia
didn't quite make it to 15. I look forward to more articles on this subject. I expect that, as per the usual, the scientists will find that 'older' versions of man will appear "fully formed and with all of the characteristics of modern man"

The really neat test will be if and when a "lucy" type specimen is examined. It will test out to be either human or ape, not a hybrid. Lets see.

11 posted on 11/13/2002 2:46:55 PM PST by keithtoo
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To: dead
YEC bump
12 posted on 11/13/2002 2:55:16 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: Saturnalia; PatrickHenry
Anyone care to guess the number of posts before f.Christian appears?

I don’t want to speak for him, but I’d imagine he would say something like:

The riderless/homosapien (human) anamoly/Intellectual gristmart

Reguritation (regeneration) seems apt.

Darwin (fish) beats all for soulless/esotericsm/propaganda (mushoganda)!

But I’m just guessing.

13 posted on 11/13/2002 2:55:53 PM PST by dead
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To: dead
INteresting, but I don't see how it can help in our friendly debates- or all our other debates either!

If a Bison is only 1 acid different from a cow even though a million years separates them, it is not a very precise test. Also, I am pretty sure that there is more than one way to create a given protien. In other words, different genes could make the same protien. All this test measures is the protien, not the gene, so it would miss it when this happened.
14 posted on 11/13/2002 3:15:23 PM PST by Ahban
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To: dead
To show the potential of their technique, Nielsen-Marsh and colleagues sequenced the amino acids in osteocalcin extracted from bones of the extinct steppe bison (Bison priscus) found in permafrost in Siberia and Alaska. Both bones are a minimum of 55,000 years old, the limit of carbon dating.

The complete sequences of amino acids exactly matched that of the modern bison (Bison bison).

Doesn't ID predict that these are all randomly different?

15 posted on 11/13/2002 3:17:48 PM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: dead
Boy, AndrewC and gore3000 are gonna be pissed. They've been claiming that fossils can tell us nothing about the critters they used to be.
16 posted on 11/13/2002 3:41:51 PM PST by Junior
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To: Junior
index bump
17 posted on 11/13/2002 3:57:02 PM PST by Aric2000
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To: PatrickHenry
To: Nebullis

I suspect the AAAS would like to update the Declaration of Independence to better reflect their view of what should be the foundation of American liberty to:

We hold these outlooks to be best, that all men are evolved, that they are endowed by accident with certain conditional allowances to be determined by us.

America is based on the assumption of God's existence. Throw that out we become just as much of a Hell on earth as was the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.


114 posted on 11/08/2002 8:32 AM PST by Tribune7
18 posted on 11/13/2002 4:04:28 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: dead
Creationism is an atavistic holdover from a less-enlightened age of history, and when it attempts to use political power to regain what it has lost by the progress of the human intellect, the gloves come off.


897 posted on 11/13/2002 9:38 AM PST by Right Wing Professor

More like your mask/wheel...coming off---orc/ape/GRUNT 'science'!
19 posted on 11/13/2002 4:06:47 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: PatrickHenry
believe it or not, on other topics f.christian would appear to be capable of writing coherently

the real question is, what the hell happened to Ted Holden?

20 posted on 11/13/2002 4:07:28 PM PST by ContentiousObjector
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To: Ahban
If a Bison is only 1 acid different from a cow even though a million years separates them, it is not a very precise test.

A couple of comments. The precision seems to be quite good. The particular protein, osteocalcin, may not be very informative or specific for short time-frames, such as 55,000 years in the case of the bison, but it will be informative for long time frames. Can you see now how that can be a useful way of extracting more information from ancient fossils?

21 posted on 11/13/2002 4:10:53 PM PST by Nebullis
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To: ContentiousObjector
Creation/God...REFORMATION(Judeo-Christianity)---secular-govt.-humanism/SCIENCE---CIVILIZATION/coherence*!

Originally the word liberal meant social conservatives(no govt religion--none) who advocated growth and progress---mostly technological(knowledge being absolute/unchanging)based on law--reality... UNDER GOD---the nature of GOD/man/govt. does not change. These were the Classical liberals...founding fathers-PRINCIPLES---stable/SANE scientific reality/society---industrial progress...moral/social character-values(private/personal) GROWTH(limited NON-intrusive PC Govt/religion---schools)!

Evolution...Atheism-dehumanism---TYRANNY(pc/liberal/govt-religion/rhetoric)...INCOHERENCE*

Then came the SPLIT SCHIZOPHRENIA/ZOMBIE/BRAVE-NWO1984 LIBERAL NEO-Soviet Darwin/ACLU America---the post-modern APE* age

*...new!

22 posted on 11/13/2002 4:12:57 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: f.Christian
hey f,
i'm curious. do you ever post anything original AND/OR coherent?
thnx (keep up the good work. you are one of the reasons FR can be so much fun ;)
23 posted on 11/13/2002 4:13:18 PM PST by anka
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To: f.Christian
Uh f.Christian, what do your ramblings have to do with proteins?

Now is your chance to make some accurate predictions, since this new technology has just been developed.

Make your predictions, and we will see just how accurate you are in a year or so.

24 posted on 11/13/2002 4:16:46 PM PST by Hunble
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To: anka
Original...

Evolution...Atheism-dehumanism---TYRANNY(pc/liberal/govt-religion/rhetoric)...INCOHERENCE*

Then came the SPLIT SCHIZOPHRENIA/ZOMBIE/BRAVE-NWO1984 LIBERAL NEO-Soviet Darwin/ACLU America---the post-modern APE*age of switch-flip-spin-DEFORMITY-cancer...Atheist secular materialists through ATHEISM/evolution CHANGED-REMOVED the foundations...demolished the wall(separation of state/religion)--trampled the TRUTH-GOD...built a satanic temple/SWAMP-MALARIA/RELIGION(cult of darwin-marx-satan) over them---REDACTED and made these absolutes subordinate--relative and calling/CHANGING all the... residuals---technology/science === TO evolution via schlock/sMUCK IDEOLOGY/lies/bias...to substantiate/justify their efforts--claims...social engineering--PC--atheism...anti-God/Truth RELIGION(USSC monopoly)--and declared a crusade/WAR--JIHAD--INTOLERANCE/TYRANNY(breaking the establishment clause)...against God--man--society/FREEDOM/LIBERTY/SCIENCE!!

*...new!

25 posted on 11/13/2002 4:16:53 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: ContentiousObjector
what the hell happened to Ted Holden?

Ted Holden, a/k/a medved, was banned in mid-September for re-posting some of his stuff that had recently been deleted. He came back, briefly, under another name, but was soon banned again.

26 posted on 11/13/2002 4:18:28 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: Hunble
My prediction...only technology is science---evolution is glop!
27 posted on 11/13/2002 4:18:45 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: f.Christian
No cop-outs please. Using the concepts of ID, you should be able to predict what protein relationships will be found.
28 posted on 11/13/2002 4:20:46 PM PST by Hunble
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To: dead
.
29 posted on 11/13/2002 4:28:03 PM PST by aculeus
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To: Hunble
Welcome!
Free Republic is an online gathering place for independent, grass-roots conservatism on the web. We're working to roll back decades of governmental largesse, to root out political fraud and corruption, and to champion causes which further conservatism in America. And we always have fun doing it. Hoo-yah!
30 posted on 11/13/2002 4:30:35 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: stanz
New Scientist is a great mag. It is sort of expensive to
subscribe to it from the US, but I did it anyway and don't regret the decision one bit.
31 posted on 11/13/2002 4:32:33 PM PST by gcruse
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To: f.Christian
root out political fraud and corruption

We know, that is why I was asking you to make some predictions. If your predictions turn out to be accurate, then you will have verified your side of the debate.

If they turn out false, then....

32 posted on 11/13/2002 4:37:26 PM PST by Hunble
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To: Hunble
My prediction...

there will never be evidence of evolution---

it never happened!
33 posted on 11/13/2002 4:39:14 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: Hunble
one... more!
34 posted on 11/13/2002 4:44:31 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: f.Christian
When I was working at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, a member of my group was the son of a brilliant German scientist who developed the V-2 rocket.

Everyone liked the guy and he did good work. But when he talked about a subject, it was impossible for anyone to figure out what he said. He could talk for 45 minutes about an issue, but nobody could figure it out.

He was very intelligent and you knew he was telling you something important. But try as we might, nobody was ever able to figure out what he was talking about.

One day a friend of mine made this simple observation:

"Listening to him is like reading a printout of a fragmented hard disk. You know there is important information contained in it, but it is so scattered, it is impossible to comprehend."

35 posted on 11/13/2002 5:58:19 PM PST by Hunble
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To: dead
pieces of DNA large enough to sequence using sensitive amplification techniques
36 posted on 11/13/2002 5:58:28 PM PST by itsahoot
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To: PatrickHenry
Seems appropriate that the FReeper who posted this is "dead."
37 posted on 11/13/2002 6:01:15 PM PST by Gumlegs
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To: Hunble
Evolutionists have an inherent perception fault...their thinking is one dimensional/sided...LAME(blind)!
38 posted on 11/13/2002 6:02:57 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: Hunble
To: f.Christian

Have you heard the story going around about the bio prof in a well-known NorthEast university who is speaking about evolution and notices three guys snickering in the back of the room? "You guys must be fundamentalist Christians" snorts the professor. One of the three replies "No, we're math majors; like, we understand the laws(science)* of probability(reality/evidence)*..."



17 posted on 9/27/02 11:07 AM Pacific by piltdownpig

*...my additions!


39 posted on 11/13/2002 6:26:02 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: f.Christian
Yup, as I suspected. f.Christian is just someone's fragmented disk drive set on auto-post.

Just teasing, but you must admit, those previous posts on this thread are rather unique.

40 posted on 11/13/2002 6:30:42 PM PST by Hunble
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To: PatrickHenry
It depends on when his siezures subside and they decide it's save to let him have access to the keyboard.

Without seeing any subsequent posts, I have to say, LOL

41 posted on 11/13/2002 6:50:36 PM PST by stanz
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To: aculeus
I love that picture!
42 posted on 11/13/2002 6:53:21 PM PST by stanz
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To: gcruse
Don't know if I could take on any more subscriptions right now, but I'll keep it in mind. Will look for a copy locally.
43 posted on 11/13/2002 6:54:56 PM PST by stanz
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To: Junior
They've been claiming that fossils can tell us nothing about the critters they used to be.

Please show me where I stated that, or retract it. Fossils don't show you what you think they do. I said that ID would state that fossils are fossils. You are lying.

44 posted on 11/13/2002 7:46:23 PM PST by AndrewC
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To: <1/1,000,000th%
Doesn't ID predict that these are all randomly different?

Why would it? From an engineering design perspective, it makes perfect sense to re-use a design that works. Do you think Black and Decker invents a new electric motor every time they come up with a new power tool?

Whenever we do any engineering design at my company, we go to the AutoCAD template file and start there. We take proven designs and employ them where they are most effective. ID implies the same technique.

It seems less likely that an exact match over a range of at least 55,000 years would constitute good evidence for evolution since we have two separate species that implies at least some random mutations for one to be an evolutionary precursor of the other.

45 posted on 11/13/2002 8:18:39 PM PST by CalConservative
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To: PatrickHenry
How does one post with a crayon?
46 posted on 11/13/2002 9:28:21 PM PST by Doctor Stochastic
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To: Hunble
The difference between the German scientist to which you refer and f.Christian is that the latter has nothing important to say contained within his incoherent babble.
47 posted on 11/13/2002 9:51:57 PM PST by Dimensio
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To: CalConservative
From an engineering design perspective, it makes perfect sense to re-use a design that works.

So why is the cow protein different then? I'm sure you will tell me how that makes sense from an engineering design perspective too.

48 posted on 11/13/2002 10:20:54 PM PST by edsheppa
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To: Hunble; AnnaZ; Alamo-Girl; betty boop; Phaedrus; Heartlander; gore3000; AndrewC
To: Dimensio

As I see it, evolution is an ideological(RELIGION)* doctrine(DOGMA)*.

If it were only a "scientific theory", it would have died a natural death 50 - 70 years ago; the evidence against it is too overwhelming and has been all along. The people defending it are doing so because they do not like the alternatives to an atheistic basis for science and do not like the logical implications of abandoning their atheistic paradigm and, in conducting themselves that way, they have achieved a degree of immunity to what most people call logic.

488 posted on 7/29/02 5:18 AM Pacific by medved

Great quote. Thanks for posting it.


294 posted on 10/18/02 11:59 AM Pacific by AnnaZ


*...my additions!
49 posted on 11/13/2002 10:25:15 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: Dimensio
do not like the logical implications of abandoning their atheistic...babbelings---orgies!
50 posted on 11/13/2002 10:28:30 PM PST by f.Christian
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