Blood cells discovered in fossilized mosquito

An Anopheles stephensi mosquito is obtaining a...

Mary Schweitzer’s discovery of soft tissue in a T. rex bone made quite a stir in the scientific community. Now scientists have discovered a fossilized mosquito with traces of blood still in it’s abdomen. Interestingly enough the mosquito was found in Montana, the same state that the T. rex bones where found.

The following reblogged from http://www.nature.com/news/blood-filled-mosquito-is-a-fossil-first-1.13946

Jurassic Park’s iconic image of a fossilized blood-filled mosquito was thought to be fiction — until now. For the first time, researchers have identified a fossil of a female mosquito with traces of blood in its engorged abdomen. A team led by Dale Greenwalt at the US National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC reports the fossil discovery today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Although scientists have found fossils of suspected blood-sucking insects, the creatures’ feeding habits have mostly been inferred from their anatomy or the presence of blood-borne parasites in their guts. But Greenwalt’s fossilized mosquito contains molecules that provide strong evidence of blood-feeding among ancient insects back to 46 million years ago. It is a fortunate find. “The abdomen of a blood-engorged mosquito is like a balloon ready to burst. It is very fragile,” says Greenwalt. “The chances that it wouldn’t have disintegrated prior to fossilization were infinitesimally small.”

The insect was found not in amber, as depicted in Jurassic Park, but in shale sediments from Montana. After 46 million years, any DNA would be long degraded, but other molecules can survive. Greenwalt’s team showed that the insect’s abdomen still contains large traces of iron and the organic molecule porphyrin — both constituents of haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment found in vertebrate blood. These molecules were either rare or absent in the abdomen of a fossilized male mosquito (which does not drink blood) of the same age, found at the same location.

Read the full article at http://www.nature.com/news/blood-filled-mosquito-is-a-fossil-first-1.13946

I cannot help but think of Barry Setterfield’s research on the decay of the speed of light and it’s subsequent effect on any dating method with relies on atomic processees when I’m told these blood cells are believed to be 46 million years old.

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5 thoughts on “Blood cells discovered in fossilized mosquito

  1. The oldest fossilized cell remnants in the fossil record are 3.4 billion years old, the reason they have not “decayed” is because they are basically petrified stone that has replaced the original material, except in some cases there may be a few stray chemicals left over from the original thing the fossil came from, usually fragments of chemicals. Nothing like DNA has ever been found in anything over a few hundred thousand years old. This is made into a big deal like it’s a new thing but it’s really not that big of a deal.

  2. The reports of this mosquito all have very misleading headlines. They did not find blood cells. In the part of the article you quote, they found traces of chemicals that are in blood. So everything was degraded except iron (which won’t degrade further) and a biomolecule which is known to be very long lived. Nothing really all that surprising here. BTW, Schweitzer does report some evidence of nucleic acid being present in those dino bones but that is different than saying there are sequencable DNA strands. Just like iron present is different than saying there are blood cells found. Also, I would NOT be surprised if nucleic acids still in 2-4 base pair strands might not be eventually recovered some some dinosaur bones. While chemistry predicts that nucleic acids will have decayed, it is a statistical thing so out of trillions of molecules a couple shorts strands may well still be there. The problem for young earth creationists is that DNA strands SHOULD be present in these bones if they are only 4000 years old. They would be somewhat degraded but we should be able to completely sequence a dinosaur if they are only 4000 years old. I don’t know why they aren’t sequencing DNA in dino bones to prove that they are young.

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