Jurassic Park, Jurassic World Possible?
I just saw the movie Jurassic World. Must say I enjoyed it. In fact I enjoyed all the Jurassic movies but the question always comes to my mind is, is it possible? Can we make a Jurassic Park with all the fixings? The dinosaurs, the plants, etc.? Is it possible?
Well let’s break it down. In the original movie, Jurassic Park, one had to:
Then Find Amber with a mosquito in it.
Then find Amber with a mosquito in it that had feasted upon a Dino and still had viable Dino DNA.
Extract that DNA, sequence it, and fill in the gaps with frog DNA.
Put that DNA in an embryo inside a plastic egg that is all yolk and little liquid while maintaining 100% humidity and 90 degrees heat.
In the newer movie, everything is relatively the same, but instead of amber, they are finding strands of DNA in Dino bones and creating hybrids by mixing them with existing modern day animals and “existing” dinosaurs.
Easy right? Except it isn’t. Take amber for example. Just the finding of a mosquito, a female mosquito, which had just feasted upon a Dinosaur, then gets trapped in tree resin and become fossilized, is amazing. Insects decompose from the inside out so finding blood inside of a Jurassic period mosquito would be incredibly rare. But let us say they got lucky and did find some. The problem there is extracting only the dinosaur DNA. It would be contaminated with the insects DNA and whatever else was contact. Again let’s say they found some ancient DNA, which had not eroded. You would then have to sequence it .Without having another complete strand to copy, adding frog DNA to filling the “gaps” would be a very difficult. It would be much like putting together a tedious puzzle with pieces that came from two different games. . It is not like taking this DNA, that DNA, putting it over here and Walla! You get the desired effect. Bird DNA would most likely be closer a match then frog DNA anyway as a lot of Paleontologist believe the dinosaur evolved into birds. In the newer movie Jurassic World, they find DNA in the fossilized bones of the Dinosaurs. They only challenge with that is it would be even more degraded then the mosquito blood scenario. DNA is fragile stuff and the act of fossilization replaces tissue with minerals.
Another problem is when you clone something, you are taking the DNA from one animal and putting it into the oocyte of another animal of the same species, i.e.: sheep-to-sheep. You are making an exact copy of the original animal. Since there are no dinosaurs alive today, that is a bit difficult. It wouldn’t work to insert the DNA into crocodile ova because crocodile ova are specialized for crocodiles, not dinosaurs. Even if the ova could hold dinosaur DNA, the problem of development of the embryo arises. Every organism that is born through eggs all have their very own special eggs. The nutrients inside a chicken egg are for chickens, turtle eggs are full of nutrients that nourish turtles, who know what nutrients a Dinosaur needs.
With the recent findings of Dino muscle the idea of finding a complete DNA is a little more possible then it was during the original Jurassic Park. Perhaps one day a full DNA strand will be found. Perhaps someday they will even be able to process a “holey” strand. It has not yet happened. It took 13 years to sequence a strand of human DNA. To date no cloned human has been born. Back in 2008, researchers successfully created the first five mature human embryos using somatic cell nuclear transfer where the nucleus of a somatic cell was taken from a donor and transplanted into a vacant host egg cell. The embryos were only allowed to develop to the blastocyst stage, at which point they were studied and then destroyed. So to create whole organism it took complete DNA and perfect conditions with a species we know all about. To clone using degraded DNA, to fill in the gaps with other DNA form reptile, put them in a plastic egg and get the perfect Dinosaur is a bit farfetched. Remember, however, that not more than 30 years ago the home computer was considered pie in the sky dreams, not mention the tiny computer we call a cell phone you may be reading this with.