Tuesday, February 28, 2006

 

Gleaning molecules from monsters

"ST. LOUIS - It was only a century ago that paleontologists, armed with a magnifying glass and hand pick, could find a toe bone and declare that it belonged to a 50-foot-long dinosaur with a sinuous tail and long neck needed for munching tall trees.

Now, a new breed of scientists is using test tubes, chemical analysis and microscopes to find unprecedented clues to how dinosaurs lived.

The technology, described at the recent American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, is allowing them to answer questions about disease, diet and family relationships — something unheard of even five years ago." [Evolution, AAAS]

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