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Fossilized dinosaur proteins and burnt toast feature similar chemical compounds

Fossilized dinosaur proteins and burnt toast feature similar chemical compounds

Science
Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Under the right conditions, a dinosaur's soft tissue can be transformed and preserved, enabling fossilization. The process features chemical transformations similar to those that characterize browned or burnt toast. Scientists have long debated whether soft tissue can be preserved within dinosaur bones. While hard tissue -- bones, eggs, teeth, scales -- can survive for more than 100 million years, most studies suggest the proteins that form blood vessels, cells and nerves are fully degraded after 4 million years. And yet, paleontologists have regularly found organic structures similar to cells and blood vessels inside 100-million-old dinosaur bones. To better understand this paradox, researchers at Yale, the American Museum of Natural History, the University of Brussels an...
Organic compounds found by Saturn moon mission

Organic compounds found by Saturn moon mission

Technology
Scientists have urged caution after finding organic compounds around Saturn's moon Enceladus.Enceladus was discovered by the British astronomer William Herschel in 1789 using what was then the largest telescope in the world, measuring 1.2m across.Almost 230 years later, the Cassini spacecraft conducted another fly-past of its southern pole, travelling through one of the mysterious cryovolcanic plumes which had been discovered to be erupting from the moon.Cassini sampled the water-rich plumes, suspected to originate from a vast liquid ocean beneath the surface of Enceladus, and discovered organic compounds - molecules which contain carbon and are essential to all known life.These compounds, including the molecule methanol, have now been detected in a much more massive quantity than previous...