Origins of DNA

DNA is the biological molecule that stores genetic information for all life on earth. However, scientists still do not know how DNA came into existence. Current hypothesis hints at an ancient “All-RNA” world, where RNA was used to store genetic information as well as carry out catalysis as a part of ribosomes. However, this hypothesis cannot be confirmed because it is impossible to extract DNA from most fossils. DNA survives in the environment for less than one million years.

Impossible Dinosaurs

Based on the previous point, dinosaurs such as T-Rex can never be cloned. Though their bones can survive millions of years, their DNA will not. Moreover, since the last (non-avian) dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago, their DNA is pretty much lost forever. However, in the movie Jurassic Park, scientists used a combination of DNA splicing and recombinant DNA technology to bring back dinosaurs. From an actual scientific perspective, this is pretty much impossible.

Misidentified Serial Killer

Today, DNA information is admissible in court. However, DNA collection techniques can hinder or change the results. In 2008, German investigators had a very peculiar crime on their hands – DNA evidence from different 40 crime scenes was collected, and it was believed to have come from the same individual – a caucasian woman. These crimes ranged from downright murder to house burglary. However, this perpetrator did not have any eyewitnesses nor any other evidence, besides the DNA from the crime scenes. Local newspapers at the time called this woman “the most mysterious serial killer of the past century”. This serial killer was even given a name – the Phantom of Heilbronn. However, it was later revealed that the cotton swabs which the police used to collect DNA samples, were all contaminated by a female factory worker who was involved in the production of the cotton swabs; hence, the phantom never existed.

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