Like most websites The Analytical Scientist uses cookies. In order to deliver a personalized, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. Learn more.
Subscribe to Newsletter
Techniques & Tools Spectroscopy, Chemical, Polymers

Hard Luck

The browning of the otherwise translucent sample eggshell matrix represents the formation of N-heterocyclic polymers. Credit: Jasmina Wiemann/ Yale University

The longevity of proteinacous matter in vertebrate hard tissue is estimated at around 3.8 million years. So why are soft tissue remnants still found in 100 million-year-old dinosaur bones? A team that included researchers from Yale University and the American Museum of Natural History analyzed 35 samples of decalcified fossil bones, eggshells and teeth using Raman microspectroscopy (1), discovering that in more oxidative environments, soft tissue had converted into advanced glycoxidation endproducts (AGEs) and advanced lipoxidation endproducts (ALEs). These N-heterocyclic polymers – structurally comparable to burnt toast – are resistant to decay.

Receive content, products, events as well as relevant industry updates from The Analytical Scientist and its sponsors.
Stay up to date with our other newsletters and sponsors information, tailored specifically to the fields you are interested in

When you click “Subscribe” we will email you a link, which you must click to verify the email address above and activate your subscription. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected].
If you wish to unsubscribe, you can update your preferences at any point.

  1. J Wiemann et al., “Fossilization transforms vertebrate hard tissue proteins into N-heterocyclic polymers”, Nat Commun, 9, 4741 (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07013-3
About the Author
Joanna Cummings

A former library manager and storyteller, I have wanted to write for magazines since I was six years old, when I used to make my own out of foolscap paper and sellotape and distribute them to my family. Since getting my MSc in Publishing, I’ve worked as a freelance writer and content creator for both digital and print, writing on subjects such as fashion, food, tourism, photography – and the history of Roman toilets. Now I can be found working on The Analytical Scientist, finding the ‘human angle’ to cutting-edge science stories.

Related Application Notes
Eliminating the Logistical Challenges of NMR Data Processing with Browser-Based Software

| Contributed by ACD Labs

Reaction Tracking of UV-Curable Resin by FTIR IRXross

| Contributed by Shimadzu

Analytix Reporter Food and Beverage Edition - MilliporeSigma

| Contributed by MilliporeSigma

Related Webinars
Techniques & Tools Spectroscopy
The Analytical Spectroscopy Technology Forum

| Sponsored by WITec GmbH, Bruker Optics, Hamamatsu Photonics Europe GmbH, and DRS Daylight Solutions

Techniques & Tools Liquid Chromatography
The Next-Level LC-MS Technology Forum

| Sponsored by ACD Labs, Agilent, Tosoh and Andrew Alliance (Waters)

Techniques & Tools Thin Layer Chromatography
Comprehensive HPTLC Fingerprinting for Quality Control of Herbal Drugs

| Sponsored by CAMAG

Most Popular
Register to The Analytical Scientist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:
  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Analytical Scientist magazine