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article imageWant to go to a real Jurassic World? Wait in line

By Tim Sandle     Jun 15, 2015 in Science
Jurassic World is breaking box-office records worldwide. If you fancy going to a real Jurassic World, however, you'll have a long wait. A leading scientist has explained why snuggling up besides as Brontosaurus won't be happening any time soon.
In Jurassic World and the three predecessor Jurassic Park movies (not to mention the original book) a group of scientists ream up with a large corporation and attempt to create a world full of living, breathing dinosaurs. Inevitably something goes wrong and a few people get eaten. A real cautionary tale about made science and corporate greed.
Nevertheless, if this sense of danger and wonder is appealing and the idea of a real world dinosaur zoo captures your imagination, then waiting for the the fifth movie in the franchise is your best bet.
Speaking with Lab Manager magazine, palaeontologist Dr Gareth Dyke sets out why re-creating thunder lizards is beyond the reach of current science.
The first reason is that, unlike the science in Jurassic World, discovering mosquitoes that had sampled the blood of dinosaurs and then been preserved in amber (fossilized tree resin) is very unlikely. No such samples have ever been discovered; moreover, DNA and proteins degrade very quickly once a creature dies. Furthermore, even if dinosaur DNA survived there is a good chance it would have become mixed-up with insect blood.
The short-life of DNA is shown with the oldest samples, recovered from bones for mammals, which only date back a thousand years or so.
Second, with fossils, no DNA has ever been extracted from dinosaur bones. Again degradation of the complex molecule is the reason.
Third, even if DNA was recovered, how would this be transformed into chromosomes? Then, where would the chromosomes be transplanted? There are no dinosaur eggs around. This leaves the dangerous prospect of a hybrid.
It does stand, however, that dinosaur feathers and skin has been recovered. For example, from the Jehol Biota fossil deposit of western China. A new research paper, published in Nature Communications ("Fibres and cellular structures preserved in 75-million–year-old dinosaur specimens"), has described the recovery of original bone collagen by using mass spectrometer methods. Although the DNA is still likely to have degraded, it could worth noting...possibly in another 50 years time this could be the pivotal paper that leads to a future Jurassic Park after all.
More about jurassic world, Dinosaurs, Dna, Fossils
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