Paleontologist Wants to Hatch a Dinosaur
Extracting DNA from fossilized amber to create a living breathing dinosaur might sound like the work of science fiction, but one paleontologist wants to do it.
Jack Horner, the curator of paleontology for the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont. who worked as a technical advisor on Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park,’ said he has an idea of his own to resurrect the long extinct creatures and he wants to try it.
Horner recently said that taking DNA from fossilized remains, such as amber or bones, won’t work in the real world because it can’t be preserved or extracted for cloning.
Instead, he suggests creating one through “reverse-engineering” out of one of the dinosaur’s current ancestors, such as a chicken. The process would simply involve “turning on” some of the species’ non-active genes that came from its long lost relatives that are no longer visible in its current form. This would happen in the embryo stage when the chicken starts forming in the egg that prevents it from developing characteristics of dinosaurs such as claws, small arms and tails.
Currently, the project is only in the research phase and Horner says he’s not looking to start his own ‘Jurassic Park’-style zoo. He hopes the project can help educate the public on evolutionary principles.