Mark was suddenly terminated by the Biology Department when his discovery of soft tissues in a Triceratops horn was published in Acta Histochemica.
This was news to him, and contradicted prior statements and documents from the university.He is currently seeking relief in a legal action for wrongful termination and religious discrimination by California State University Northridge (CSUN).Critics charged that the findings were mistaken or that what she called soft tissue was really biofilm produced by bacteria that had entered from outside the bone.Schweitzer answered the challenge by testing with antibodies.Researchers have found a reason for the puzzling survival of soft tissue and collagen in dinosaur bones - the bones are younger than anyone ever guessed.
Carbon-14 (C-14) dating of multiple samples of bone from 8 dinosaurs found in Texas, Alaska, Colorado, and Montana revealed that they are only 22,000 to 39,000 years old.
Knowing that small concentrations of collagen can attract contamination, they compared precision Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) tests of collagen and bioapatite (hard carbonate bone mineral) with conventional counting methods of large bone fragments from the same dinosaurs. Mary Schweitzer, associate professor of marine, earth, and atmospheric sciences at North Carolina State University, surprised scientists in 2005 when she reported finding soft tissue in dinosaur bones.
These, together with many other remarkable concordances between samples from different fossils, geographic regions and stratigraphic positions make random contamination as origin of the C-14 unlikely". She started a firestorm of controversy in 20 when she reported that she had sequenced proteins in the dinosaur bone.
She wrote back: Thanks for considering our service in this project.
We wish you well in your research but must choose to opt-out of the analysis.
After the AOGS-AGU conference in Singapore, the abstract was removed from the conference website by two chairmen because they could not accept the findings.