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Discovery

Molecules Are Fossils, Too

Two researchers hover over field notes.

Michigan State University professor Peggy Ostrom and Stafford Research Labs director Thomas Stafford discuss Pliocene sediments near Medicine Creek Reservoir, Neb. Ostrom and Stafford study the proteins inside ancient fossils to uncover the ancestry and life habits of long-dead creatures.

Credit: Nathaniel Ostrom, MSU Department of Zoology

 

Two researchers examine at fossil site.

Stafford Research Labs director Thomas Stafford points out a fossil to Michigan State University professor Peggy Ostrom at a Pliocene site. Ostrom and Stafford study the proteins inside ancient bones, in a field known as paleoproteomics.

Credit: Nathaniel Ostrom, MSU Department of Zoology

 

Researcher in front of a pile of bones.

Michigan State University professor Peggy Ostrom in front of a museum's collection of skulls. Ostrom studies the proteins inside ancient bones.

Credit: Barbara Lundrigan, MSU Museum and MSU Department of Zoology

 

Woman gazing at fossilized skull.

Michigan State University professor Peggy Ostrom admires a fossilized skull.

Credit: Barbara Lundrigan, MSU Museum and MSU Department of Zoology

 

Researcher in front of lab equipment

Michigan State University professor Peggy Ostrom at the Research Technology Support Facility at Michigan State University, Biochemistry. Ostrom uses mass spectrometer technology to sequence the proteins found in fossilized bones.

Credit: Hasand Ghandi