Friday, April 25, 2008

Did dinosaurs have increased telomerase activity?

Today in the news an article discussed the discovery that dinosaurs and birds shared similar proteins are and closely related. And it was only a coincidence that I had just mentioned, a few days earlier, a question here I had about whether dinosaurs had telomerase.

The question originally came about when I was trying to list several possible reasons that many dinosaurs were really large. One possibility was that they lived a really long time, and similar to reptiles, could just keep getting bigger. Obviously there were limits to this but still. And it also occurred to me that some sea birds, which are long-lived, have high telomerase activity. Hence the question, did dinosaurs have increased telomerase enzyme activity? Could an prolonged life span have allowed them to grow to a large size?
And remember, its just a hypothesis and nothing more. What if?
- Just a peasant
Picture from the California Academy of Sciences website (This link should be correct now)