Friday, April 13, 2007

Protein Evidence: T. Rex Related to Chicken

The Post article is here. An excerpt:
Unleashing a new, highly sensitive medical analyzer on fossilized bone from Tyrannosaurus rex, scientists have for the first time determined the precise molecular code of a dinosaur protein.

. . .

The first results, described in today's issue of the journal Science, show that the collagen protein in T. rex bone is extraordinarily similar to that of the modern chicken, confirming current thinking that dinosaurs' nearest cousins are birds.

Better start rethinking your chicken metaphors.

I now have much more respect for this man.

1 Comments:

At April 21, 2008 12:57 AM, Anonymous David said...

This topic fascinated me. 'confirming' seemed a bit strong. At best..'supporting' seemed more appropriate.

After some quick googling, it appears there are others that agree (including an author on Dawkins' site).

The sequence similarity between the T. rex and the chicken was apparently 58%, while it was only 51% similar to both frogs and newts. This compares with a reported 81% similarity between humans and frogs, and 97% between humans and cows.


According to a quote in an article on Dawkins' own site regarding this, the findings were not enough to say anything 'definitively', but to apparently provide enough similarity to theoretically support the idea rather than contradict it.

http://richarddawkins.net/article,873,T-rex-tissue-shows-they-are-related-to-chickens,Thomas-H-Maugh-II

I find it hard not to see the eager author above and his treatment of the data as anything more than yet another "jumping way too early on the macroevolutionary bandwagon" (before a sufficiently evolved link - even to a chicken - has really been 'confirmed' to tow the cart in question).

 

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