Birds could be the key to bringing dinosaurs back to life, but do we really want that?
Alsion Woolard, a Biochemist at the Oxford University believes that the DNA from modern birds could be used to design genomes to bring back to life the creatures that last walked the Earth about 65 million years ago. Although this idea isn’t new, with the plot of the Jurassic Park movies closely following this theory. In the movies the DNA of dinosaurs was extracted from blood taken from mosquito’s which were trapped and preserved in amber for over 65 million years.
A similar attempt of the Theory made by Dr Wollard was made by scientists in Australia recently however this resulted in failure. Although Dr Wollard still holds hope for this project saying;
“We know birds are the direct descendants of dinosaurs. Could we ‘rewind’ evolution by switching these genes back on? The difficulty was in finding surviving dinosaur DNA, then making a full genome from millions of short fragments in order. In other words we’d need to de-evolve birds to make a full genome closer to that of dinosaurs”.
Just like the debate with cloning, this latest foray into bringing dinosaurs back to life has a lot of scientists debating the ethics around the de-extinction of not just dinosaurs but other animals as well. I for one remember what happened in Jurassic Park movies and I’m not sure I’d like the happening any time soon. What do you think of this new leap into dinosaur cloning and genetics, think it’s a good thing? Only time will tell.
Thank you The Sydney Morning Herald for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of ScreenCrush.