Ancient Dinosaur DNA May Hold Key to Cure Cancer, Other Human Diseases
By Reissa Su | July 8, 2014 6:12 PM EST
The DNA of dinosaurs could unlock the key to a powerful method of healing for humans. According to reports, researchers from Manchester University have discovered evidence while examining ancient dinosaur fossils.
A microscopic image of spores and vegetative cells in the bacteria Bacillus Anthracis June 19, 2014
Lead researcher Professor Phil Manning, along with colleagues, studied the fossilised remains of a gorgosaurus, a dinosaur believed to be 72 million years old and an ancient ancestor of the Tyrannosaurus rex. They had found that the 26-feet high creature had the ability to heal from serious illness and restore broken bones.
Their findings reveal that the dinosaur had suffered multiple injuries during the months before its death. According to researchers, such injuries would have been deadly to humans and animals.
Scientists believe the study of dinosaur descendants like crocodiles and alligators may provide the key to treating human diseases like cancer. The researchers, who studied the dinosaur, have reason to believe that the DNA strains are also found in the animals of today.
One of the injuries noted by scientists was a compound fracture of the right leg. They observed the injury was in the process of healing in the dinosaur fossil. The creature's left leg had a broken and infected bone, but researchers noticed the bone was being repaired.
The dinosaur's tail showed evidence of healing after it broke possibly because of cancer. Researchers also found its forearm had evidence of being broken and in the process of repair.
Researchers were not surprised to find several broken ribs on the dinosaur. The bones had healed, while the bacteria ate into the dinosaur's jawbone. Researchers believe the dinosaur may have had cancer.
Based on post mortem results, the dinosaur had probably died from a brain tumour. Manning said their study has provided crucial evidence about the extinct animal's biology and physiology. He said studying the antibodies of dinosaurs might help develop cures for human illnesses or drugs to boost the human immune system.
He added that studying crocodiles and alligators may also provide scientists with answers to fight bacterial infection.
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