Mary Schweitzer is a paleontologist who specializes in molecular paleontology, that is in the detection and interpretation of original molecular fragments in well-preserved fossil specimens. She is best known for discovering what appears to be biomolecules, remnants of soft tissue, blood cells, vessels and such, in ancient fossils including a 68 million year old Tyrannosaurus Rex (One nicknamed Big Mike, not Stan the one pictured here which is in the Natural History Museum at Oxford).
Her discovery of soft tissue remnants is controversial as the standard mechanism for fossilization would not permit these biomolecules remnants to persist in a specimen so old. The conditions would have to be rather special – rapid burial to protect the corpse from scavengers, increasingly deep burial in an appropriate formation, followed by careful excavation and prompt analysis when the fossil is found. Even then skepticism remains. This is an example of good science with criticism and response. A series of results with increasing reliability is challenged and tested. Prof. Schweitzer has described her results in the scientific literature, but also in a number of popular venues. Her 2010 article Blood From Stone in Scientific American is fascinating if you can manage to get a hold of it.
Creationists have jumped on this discovery as evidence for the failure of the old earth, deep time model of origins. This strikes me as a predictable, but rather ridiculous response. Schweitzer’s discovery, assuming it holds up as now appears likely, tells us a great deal about these ancient creatures and about the conditions of fossilization. Soft tissue remnants in samples many hundreds of thousands of years old is uncontroversial however. In fact Schweitzer and colleagues used comparisons between such specimens and their dinosaur specimens to validate their methods and results on the T Rex. Contra Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis … There is nothing here that supports a view in any fashion consistent with the young earth interpretation of Genesis.