On Monday, September 7, The Washington Post ran a story on the bee. It's on Page A2 in the

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On Monday, September 7, _The Washington Post_ ran a story on the bee. It's on Page A2 in the "Science Notebook." Rather than type in the whole story, I'll just list the salient points. * A fragment of genetic material from a stingerless bee has been cloned. The bee has been entombed in amber more than 25 million years ago. * It's an extract of the muscle tissue representing about one-ten- thousandth of the bee's genetic complement. * The researchers are George O. Poinar, an entomologist at U.C. Berkeley, Raul J. Cano, a molecular biologist at Cal Poly, Hendrik Poinar, a grad student at Cal Poly, and David W. Roubik, a Smithsonian bee expert from Panama. * The first stage of the work has been reported in Medical Science Research, a British journal. * This work was acknowledged in Michael Crichton's _Jurassic Park_, and the labs have been filmed for Steven Spielberg's movie. [No assurance that the labs will actually appear in the final cut, though. -- HH] * The team hopes to obtain dinosaur blood from an amber-entrapped biting midge, extract some dinosaur DNA, and use it to trace the dinosaurs' lineage. * Sequencing of the ancient DNA shows about a 7 percent difference from the DNA of contemporary bees. This is a clue to the rate at which bees' evolution has progressed. * The amber was found in a mine in the Dominican Republic. It was formed from the sap of an extinct bean tree, which lived in the area 25-40 million years ago. -- Herb Huston


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