the science of Jurassic Park

Can we really clone a dinosaur from DNA found in dino blood found in a mosquito found in some amber? Can we? I want a dinosaur.

Who wouldn’t want a dinosaur?

Such desires aside, however, current technology does not exist to allow dinosaur cloning a la Jurassic Park (and, it does not appear likely that future technology will allow it, either). The main problem appears to be the lengthy sequences of “junk DNA” - without any clue as to what, if anything these sequences do, it would be nigh impossible to get them aligned properly. Keep in mind that even though the mosquito may be preserved, the DNA from both the mosquito and whatever creature served as its last meal will have significantly deteriorated over 65 million years or longer. So we would have, at best, fragments which would have to be pieced together.

Complete mitochondrial sequences have, however, been sequenced for moas.

Here is one site which specifically addresses the dinosaur issue.

Supposing that such a technique is even thinkable, before we start cloning dinosaurs we are going to start with all sorts of other extinct creatures.

We have actual frozen mummies, skins, hair, and dried carcasses of many extinct animals…mammoths, steppe bison, giant ground sloths, dodos, moas, passenger pigeons, thylacines, quaggas, carolina parakeets…

The amount of sub-fossil remains of “recently” extinct animals is many orders of magnitude greater than the amount of blood samples preserved in the gut contents of mosquitoes preserved in amber.

We can uncover whole frozen mammoth carcasses in Alaska and Siberia. With several thousand pounds of frozen tissue to work with the odds of getting a viable sample are millions of times greater. And we wouldn’t have to invent artificial eggs replicators or guess at the incubation techniques…we could implant mammoth embryos in living elephants.

Of course, elephants are already an endangered species, so perhaps creating a mammoth is not such a good idea if it takes the place of a potenatial baby elephant.

I think the simple answer to the OP would be this:

Do ya see any dinosaurs walking around?

At least in my case, the probability of a dinosaur sighting is largely dependent on the amount of Sleeman’s Cream Ale I have consumed.

But let’s say you could sequence some dino DNA. What then? Can you just pop it into a chicken egg and expect it to hatch? Can you just inject DNA into any old egg and have a dinosaur burst out of it?

Not around here, no. I see them flying, though. :smiley:

A couple of years ago, somewhere (nice cite, huh?) I read
that this used to be a speculative way to get dinosaur
DNA, but then someone actually tried to look at the blood
in an insect encased in amber, and the DNA was entirely

Of course, that doesn’t get as much press as Spielberg
saying “this isn’t science fiction! It’s science

I still want a dinosaur, but now I also want a wooly mammoth and a mummy. I’ll be the most popular kid in town!

To date, the total number of dinosaur DNA bases recovered is a couple of hundred. Out of 10[sup]9[/sup] or so.

That would be like trying to recreate “Moby Dick” from the following information:

a j d n p

We’d need to find a hell of a lot more DNA to even make an attempt. And, frankly, there’s probably not enough that’s been preserved to do the job.