Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Dino-Chicken--Not of the Nugget Variety
With the recent Jurassic World movie, even this generation's young people know about the disastrous outcome of when scientists "play god" and create a park full of dinosaurs. Despite this, dinosaur breeding may be closer than one may think. The Indominous rex was one of the unlikely stars of the recent Jurrasic World movie, for a good reason. While fossilized dinosaur DNA that is still viable has yet to be found, remnants of the prehistoric code that existed in dinosaurs still exists in chickens today. Quoted in an article on livescience, James Horner, the inspiration for the original Jurassic Park's Alan Grant, says, "Chickens and all birds are carrying much bigger chunks of dinosaur DNA than we are ever likely to find in the fossil record." He believes that, because DNA tends to come apart after a cell dies, there wouldn't be anything left after millions of years.
However, in a bird, there may be enough groundwork and prehistoric DNA that they could be essentially reverted to resemble a dinosaur. It's already been proven that birds can be transgenically created to have teeth and a team from Yale and Harvard recently retro-engineered a bird's beak to look like a dinosaur-looking mouth. Horner believes that all that is left is to recreate the tails and transform the wings back into an arm and hand. He admits a miniature dinosaur may be about ten years off.
While this is scary, much like Grant I would love my own miniature pet dinosaur, but I do believe this whole exercise would anger people who are traditionally against GMOs. This involved completely modifying an organism to create something completely different which leaves a weird taste in my mouth.