Navigation Links
Unexpected exoskeleton remnants found in Paleozoic fossils
Date:2/7/2011

Washington, D.C.Surprising new research shows that, contrary to conventional belief, remains of chitin-protein complexstructural materials containing protein and polysaccharideare present in abundance in fossils of arthropods from the Paleozoic era. Previously the oldest molecular signature of chitin-protein complex was discovered in 25 million year old Cenozoic fossils and remnants of structural protein have also been discovered in 80 million-year-old Mesozoic fossils. Carnegie's George Cody and an international team of scientists discovered relicts of protein-chitin complex in fossils of arthropods from the Paleozoic era. Their findings, published online by Geology, could have major implications for our understanding of the organic fossil record.

Among other common features, arthropods have exoskeletons, or cuticles. The outer portions of these cuticles are made up of a composite of chitin fibers, which are embedded in a matrix of protein. It is well known that chitin and structural protein are easily degraded by microorganisms and it has long been believed that chitin and structural proteins would not be present in fossils of moderate age, let alone in fossils dating back to the early Paleozoic.

Cody and his team studied fossil remains of a 310-million-year-old scorpion cuticle from northern Illinois and a 417-million-year-old eurypteridan extinct scorpion-like arthropod, possibly related to horseshoe crabsfrom Ontario, Canada. Using sophisticated analytical instrument at the Advanced Light Source facility, the research team measured the absorption spectra of low-energy X-rays by carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen in the fossils. These measurements were taken at a resolution on the order of 25 nanometers. The researchers showed that the majority of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen found in these fossils from the Paleozoic era were derived from a protein-chitin complex. Not surprisingly, the protein-chitin material was somewhat degraded, either by chemical processes or partial bacterial degradation.

Cody speculates that the vestigial protein-chitin complex may play a critical role in organic fossil preservation by providing a substrate protected from total degradation by a coating waxy substances that protect the arthropods from desiccation.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Cody
gcody@ciw.edu
202-478-8980
Carnegie Institution
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New research reveals unexpected biological pathway in glaucoma
2. Unexpected findings of lead exposure may lead to treating blindness
3. Land evapotranspiration taking unexpected turn: huge parts of world are drying up
4. Waters unexpected role in blood pressure control
5. Unexpectedly high rate of multiple strains in fungal infection
6. Sonic hedgehog gene found in an unexpected place during limb development
7. Study reveals H1N1 unexpected weakness
8. Research reveals lipids unexpected role in triggering death of brain cells
9. Study points to new uses, unexpected side effects of already existing drugs
10. New study reveals unexpected relationship between climate warming and advancing treelines
11. 1-finger exercise reveals unexpected limits to dexterity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , leading ... component of the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® ... security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 ... secured over 15 million users across the financial services ... home product suites and physical access represent a growing ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... , April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , ... that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ... covers the linking of an iris image with a ... and represents the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... is very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host the world,s ... at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, Washington ... health and wellness apps that provide a unique, personalized ... is the first hackathon for personal genomics and the ... the genomics, tech and health industries are sending teams ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/21/2017)... Arbor, MI (PRWEB) , ... August 21, 2017 ... ... Innovation Awards: Healthcare Edition 2017. The awards recognize medical centers that have implemented ... by their efficiency of patient care protocols, competitive advantages, financial impact/value, and market ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 21, 2017 , ... ... firm is utilizing its extensive experience with Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) ... Health Record data. In 2014, US healthcare spending exceeded $3.0 trillion with nearly ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... Francisco, California (PRWEB) , ... August 21, 2017 , ... ... collaborate for a project, funded by a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ... contraception. , Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also known as the Gates Foundation, is ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... OAI, a leading Silicon ... Microfluidics Industries, announces the new Model 800E front and backside, semi-automatic mask aligner ... mask aligners. OAI has already received and installed several orders for the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: