It’s not often that the “Could this happen?” question in science is answered with a no. This looks like one of those times. The sad news? It doesn’t seem as though we’ll be able to clone dinos from DNA like they did in Jurassic Park. That’s right, Hollywood lied to us. Feeling betrayed? Me too. Just a little.
Scientists from the University of Manchester tried, but were ultimately unsuccessful at extracting DNA from insects trapped in amber for over 10,000 years. In fact, they even went so far as to say that it’s probably impossible to extract usable DNA from dinosaur-aged samples. Let’s all take a moment to be collectively disappointed.
The scientists were working with bees in copal, which is hardened tree resin that forms before amber. The samples they used were between 60 and 10,600 years old, and while they were able to extract some nucleotides (which form the building blocks of DNA) in the younger specimens, they didn’t find a trace of ancient DNA. They also weren’t able to match the nucleotide sequences to the modern equivalent of the bees.