A toast to the proteins in dinosaur bones

November 9, 2018, Yale University
Dinosaur blood vessel with adjacent bone matrix that still contains bone cells. These structures have a perfect morphological preservation over hundreds of millions of years, but are chemically transformed through oxidative crosslinking. The extract comes from a sauropod dinosaur. Credit: Jasmina Wiemann/Yale University

Burnt toast and dinosaur bones have a common trait, according to a new, Yale-led study. They both contain chemicals that, under the right conditions, transform original proteins into something new. It's a process that may help researchers understand how soft-tissue cells inside dinosaur bones can survive for hundreds of millions of years.

A research team from Yale, the American Museum of Natural History, the University of Brussels, and the University of Bonn announced the discovery Nov. 9 in the journal Nature Communications.

Fossil soft tissue in dinosaur bones has been a controversial topic among researchers for quite some time. Hard tissues, such as bones, eggs, teeth, and enamel scales, are able to survive fossilization extremely well. Soft tissues, such as , cells, and nerves—which are stored inside the hard tissue—are more delicate and thought to decay rapidly after death. These are composed mainly of proteins, which are believed to completely degrade within about four million years.

Yet are much older, roughly 100 million years old, and they occasionally preserve organic structures similar to cells and blood vessels. Various attempts to resolve this paradox have failed to provide a conclusive answer.

"We took on the challenge of understanding protein fossilization," said Yale paleontologist Jasmina Wiemann, the study's lead author. "We tested 35 samples of fossil bones, eggshells, and teeth to learn whether they preserve proteinaceous soft tissues, find out their chemical composition, and determine under what conditions they were able to survive for millions of years."

Experimental maturation initiates glycoxidation/lipoxidation in a fresh eggshell matrix sample. The local browning of the otherwise translucent sample represents the formation of N-heterocyclic polymers. Credit: Jasmina Wiemann/Yale University

The researchers discovered that soft tissues are preserved in samples from oxidative environments such as sandstones and shallow, marine limestones. The soft tissues were transformed into Advanced Glycoxidation and Lipoxidation end products (AGEs and ALEs), which are resistant to decay and degradation. They're also structurally comparable to chemical compounds that stain the dark crust on toast.

AGEs and ALEs are characterized by a brownish color that stains fossil bones and teeth that contain them. The compounds are hydrophobic, which means they are resistant to the normal effects of water, and have properties that make it difficult for bacteria to consume them.

Wiemann and her colleagues made their discovery by decalcifying fossils and imaging the released soft tissue structures. They applied Raman microspectroscopy—a non-destructive method for analyzing both the inorganic and organic contents of a sample—to the extracted fossil soft tissues. During this process, laser energy directed at the tissue causes molecular vibrations that carry spectral fingerprints for the chemicals that are present.

Co-author Derek Briggs, Yale's G. Evelyn Hutchinson Professor of Geology and Geophysics and a curator at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, said the study points to localities where soft may be found in , including sandstones deposited from rivers, dune sands, and shallow marine limestones.

"Our results show how chemical alteration explains the fossilization of these soft tissues and identifies the types of environment where this process occurs," Briggs said. "The payoff is a way of targeting settings in the field where this preservation is likely to occur, expanding an important source of evidence of the biology and ecology of ancient vertebrates."

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TeeSquared
1 / 5 (8) Nov 09, 2018
Tissue remains soft after "HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF YEARS" ?!?!? C'mon. Seriously. Exposure to varying seasons of water, heat, cold, humidity, dryness over that period of time is a preservation process? Subjecting the samples to perfect laboratory conditions is a far cry from being in a natural environment. The best estimates for the preservation of soft tissue under the most optimum laboratory conditions is roughly 1 million years.

The question isn't 'how can the tissue remain soft for that long' but 'is the tissue that old to begin with'?
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (7) Nov 09, 2018
@tee
Tissue remains soft after "HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF YEARS" ?!?!? C'mon. Seriously. Exposure to
from the article:
soft-tissue cells inside dinosaur bones
so that in itself implies a lack of exposure to external elements
The question isn't 'how can the tissue remain soft for that long' but 'is the tissue that old to begin with'?
please refer to the study
I believe this is what you're looking for: https://www.natur...-07013-3

https://www.natur...-07013-3.pdf

EnricM
5 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2018


The question isn't 'how can the tissue remain soft for that long' but 'is the tissue that old to begin with'?


Sure, some primitive mammal discovered the bones a million of years ago and decided for no good reason to wrap them in bacon, right ?
TeeSquared
1 / 5 (5) Nov 10, 2018
@stumpy

I don't claim to understand everything in that article but I did not see anything that would substantiate a realistic view of tissue remaining soft after hundreds of millions of years.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 10, 2018
It's encased in fossilized bone.

Duh.
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
3.8 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2018
Seems to be the solution to this problem. Nice, since the putative sequences who fit to extant bird proteins may eventually be accepted as phylogenetic evidence.

I don't claim to understand everything in that article but I did not see anything that would substantiate a realistic view of tissue remaining soft after hundreds of millions of years.


From the article: "The researchers discovered that soft tissues are preserved in samples from oxidative environments such as sandstones and shallow, marine limestones. The soft tissues were transformed into Advanced Glycoxidation and Lipoxidation end products (AGEs and ALEs), which are resistant to decay and degradation."

Same sterols are converted to fossil steranes since these products are decay resistant. Those too are produced in the lab to check if they are reasonable sediment products.

And of course it is realistic enough, it passed the peer review of Nature Communications. Personal incredulity is not applicable.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (3) Nov 10, 2018
@Tee
... I did not see anything that would substantiate a realistic view of tissue remaining soft after hundreds of millions of years
start here
Raman Microspectroscopy shows that these fossil soft tissues are a product of diagenetic transformation to Advanced Glycoxidation and Lipoxidation End Products, a class of N-heterocyclic polymers generated via oxidative crosslinking of proteinaceous scaffolds. Hard tissues in reducing environments, in contrast, lack soft tissue preservation. Comparison of fossil soft tissues with modern and experimentally matured samples reveals how proteinaceous tissues undergo diagenesis and explains biases in their preservation in the rock record.
this is further explained in the introduction and text

the sample chemistry is not consistent with contamination from modern organisms

it's not like there isn't controversy
that is also mentioned in the study

You can always take a "wait and see" approach
jonesdave
5 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2018
Ahh jeez, I'm sick of this stuff. Bloody scientists have found toast in dinosaur protein? Howz that happen? Toasters weren't even invented then. Crikey, can someone 'splain this? :)
jonesdave
5 / 5 (3) Nov 10, 2018
You can always take a "wait and see" approach


Nope. There was no toast in the Cretaceous. Fact. :) Sh!t, they hadn't even invented butter, so what was the point of toast? Answer me that, you mainstream adherents! Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries. I fart in your general direction.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2018
@Jones
Howz that happen? Toasters weren't even invented then. Crikey, can someone 'splain this? :)
LOL

obviously, a long "green" stick had to have been used during the toasting process as a seasoned stick would have caught fire and they hadn't invented metallurgy - I studied logic at MPU https://www.youtu...l5ntikaU

or it was Eggy's Aliens from that wormhole he saw in 2013?
https://phys.org/...ole.html]https://phys.org/...ole.html[/url]

it could also have been one of Steel's angels, mysterious craft or his face of god ...
https://phys.org/...ole.html]https://phys.org/...ole.html[/url]

Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2018
Maybe the YECs think they'll find a picture of jebus inside a dinosaur bone.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2018
Maybe I'm missin' something here....
Is it the soft tissue actually preserved?
Or is the STRUCTURE of the soft tissue that is preserved?
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2018
The latter. Read the article carefully; this is fossilized protein.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (3) Nov 10, 2018
The latter. Read the article carefully; this is fossilized protein.

That's what I thought. The conversation seemed like it was that the tissue itself had been preserved...

Maybe the YECs think they'll find a picture of jebus inside a dinosaur bone.

Since I remember reading someone saw the Virgin Mary on a piece o toast a few years ago, this would fit right in... :-)
TeeSquared
1 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2018
It is not just dinosaur soft tissue, either, but the presence of detectable proteins such as collagen, hemoglobin, osteocalcin, actin, and tubulin. These are complex molecules that continually tend to break down to simpler ones. There are recovered fragments of the even more fragile and complex molecule, DNA. This has been extracted from the bone cells with markers indicating its source such that it is extremely likely to be dinosaur DNA.

Others have reported the fast-decaying carbon-14 from dino bones—not a single atom should be left after 1 million years.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2018
Errrr, what's C14 got to do with it?

I smell another YEC.

This is like making comments about nuclear policy during a discussion about the best breakfast cereal. Maybe we can introduce the impact of the telephone into the breakfast cereal situation.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2018
Just for reference, the first two sentences of this article:

Burnt toast and dinosaur bones have a common trait, according to a new, Yale-led study. They both contain chemicals that, under the right conditions, transform original proteins into something new.


So much for "soft tissue." This says it got "transform[ed]" "into something new." YECs don't just lie; they tell *stupid* lies.

We done here?
rogerdallas
5 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2018
Just as a little side note, formation of AGE products is a normal part of aging. The chemistry is known as a Maillard process and is much like the process that occurs when meats are baked or broiled. Glucose cross-links to protein. Diabetics are more prone to this because of high levels of glucose. At one time there was hope for compounds thought to break glucose-protein bonds, as therapy for diabetics and as anti-aging agents. Something called RU-486 was researched but results were disappointing. A few studies indicated that EDTA in conjunction with a fat soluble form of a B vitamin, benfotiamine, can break glucose-protein bonds. You can buy both easily. I've been dosing myself for the last ten years. I have no idea whether it is helping but since I've started I might as well continue. Not very scientific, I admit.
TeeSquared
1 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2018
Believing that tissue remaining intact, or at the very least, soft after millions of years is quite a stretch of the imagination. And then believing that in the beginning nothing caused the creation of everything.

I will stick with believing God created everything.

Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2018
@tee
is quite a stretch of the imagination
Quick question: if something were to happen to someone you know and they found β-citryl-glutamic acid in the urine, would you accept their findings?

I will stick with believing God created everything
this is a nice sentiment but it does absolutely nothing to assist with the advancement of the species

Just because you want to believe [x] doesn't mean it's true, factual or even useful to society or the species

when you make that kind of statement while using modern technology born from the blood (and lives), sweat and tears of scientific endeavours, then you're advocating hypocrisy and delusion over fact

.

These are complex molecules that continually tend to break down to simpler ones
they can also be predicted to break down in certain ways given certain situations in a certain amount of time

related to my β-citryl-glutamic acid point *and* the study, mind you
zz5555
5 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2018
And then believing that in the beginning nothing caused the creation of everything.

Yes, because believing that your god was created from nothing is ever so much better. ;)
rrwillsj
not rated yet Nov 11, 2018
5x4, I don't know... If a deity is created from nothing? That could explain why there is nothing there at all!
TeeSquared
1 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2018
"this is a nice sentiment but it does absolutely nothing to assist with the advancement of the species"

The advancement of the species requires that members of the species must die. Death is necessary. Death is to be celebrated as the mechanism that ensures the species changes to ensure its survival.

That is not the case for us. Death is feared. Death is the cause of so much sadness. Medical science is trying to make us live longer to remove the hold of death as much as possible. Death is something that we feel within us we don't want to happen.

If we are the product of evolution then death shouldn't be a concern but it is. Either we have come to oppose what evolution has done or we know that death is something that is not right.

I will pick the 2nd one.

TeeSquared
1 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2018
Yes, because believing that your god was created from nothing is ever so much better. ;)


Everything in this material universe has a cause. It is impossible scientifically and logically for it to have caused itself. Within this universe we have time and space and material. How each one came into existence is dependent on something that is not part of each one.

Time can only be caused by something out of time or timeless (eternal).
Space can only be caused by something outside of that space.
Material can only be caused by something that is not material.

God.
TeeSquared
not rated yet Nov 11, 2018
Quick question: if something were to happen to someone you know and they found β-citryl-glutamic acid in the urine, would you accept their findings?


What would those findings show?
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2018
@tee
Medical science is trying to make us live longer to remove the hold of death as much as possible
ignoring your opinion and false statements before this: what in the name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster does this have to do with the above study?

ah, right

nothing

you've set up your strawman and lead into this
If we are the product of evolution then death shouldn't be a concern but it is
except that all evolved animals strive to live

it's a back and forth between predator and prey: the prey avoid being eaten to avoid death and the predator learns to counter this to eat to avoid death

death is one of the more powerful tools of evolution
they don't teach that in sunday school because it conflicts with the dogma

do you have anything but your religious dogma to support your arguments?
Either we have
fallacy of inconsistency
Phillips, Harry; Bostian, Patricia (2014). The Purposeful Argument: A Practical Guide

2Bcont'd
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2018
@tee cont'd
Everything ...has a cause
opinion based on dogma, not fact
It is impossible scientifically and logically for it to have caused itself
https://en.wikipe...the_gaps

Time can...
Space...
Material...

God
god of the gaps + https://en.wikipe...s_teapot

What would those findings show?
that you're not able to find an easily found answer, for starters

they're metabolites of GHB and they're known because we've taken the time to research and determine this using the scientific method, not religion

god didn't do it and religion didn't do it - science did

this is the reason interjection of faith is detrimental to finding facts as well as science

you blame (whatever) god for everything and science finds out facts about everything
Which one got the US to the moon?
which one learned about metabolites?
Which one learned about gravity?

not religion

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