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By measuring the progression of amino acid racemization in these samples, researchers can assess whether nucleic acid analysis would be productive.Depurination, a hydrolytic reaction, is the primary cause of nucleic acid degradation, and racemization is affected by some of the factors that influence this process.Jurassic Racemization In addition to studying animal life span, Bada also applied racemization analysis to the search for genetic material in ancient fossil and tissue samples.DNA stability is a major complication in the analysis of ancient genetic material.

The proteins in each lens nucleus were acid hydrolyzed into free amino acids, which were then derivatized.For samples not embedded in amber, this translates to less than 50,000 years.This suggests that recovering DNA from dinosaur fossils, which are on the order of 10 million years old, is unlikely.The levels of D- and L-aspartic acid were analyzed by ion exchange chromatography or reversed-phase HPLC.The relative proportions of each enantiomer were measured using fluorescence detection.

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By conducting aspartic acid racemization measurements using an HPLC/fluorescence detection method, Bada analyzed the bowhead’s eye lenses to estimate the whale’s age at the time of death (2).

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