Spielberg might have argued that the’ 90s classic “ depends on credibility ” – but without dinosaur DNA, be prepared for less ferocious beasts and more … Chickens
In the weekly guide Resolute! column, we take a look at a crucial pop culture question you’ve burned to find out the answer – and let’s fix it, once and for all
Don’t pretend you never thought about it.Yes, yes – there’s the weird downside of populating an island with once-extinct reptiles Of course the T rex proves to be contemptuous of road safety and the approaching velociraptors to hide and seek is frankly unsportsmanlike But the majestic song of the brachiosaurus! The incredible dino-herds! The sparkling magnificence of Jeff Goldblum’s chest mat! Could Jurassic Park happen in real life?
In 1993, it was like that Newsweek ran an article attesting to the scientific plausibility of Jurassic Park, pointing out that – during filming – two scientists from Berkeley announced they had cloned old bee DNA. 40 million years after finding the insect preserved in amber “This movie depends on credibility,” Spielberg told Newsweek “The credibility of the premise – that dinosaurs could come to life through cloning – is what made the movie happen”
But there were even problems To reproduce a dinosaur genome you would need billions of DNA building blocks, base pairs But none of the old DNA they harvested contained more 250 Which is like unwrapping a 10,000-piece T rex jigsaw to find two wedges and a piece of tooth And, in recent years, the University of Manchester amber experiments have shown that the findings of Bee DNA were probably based on false results, anyway Plus, there’s another small obstacle to the creation of Jurassic Park: No one has ever found dinosaur DNA Scientists know that DNA degrades over time, the oldest DNA ever found to come from an 800,000-year-old human ancestor The dinosaur DNA you need should have survived around 65 million years
Maybe life can find a way, however, a controversial paleontologist – who also happens to be a science consultant to the Jurassic Park franchise – thinks we might have all the DNA we need: in chickens The scientists were able to modify poultry DNA to grow alligator teeth and a dinosaur-like snout instead of a beak.Nevertheless, given that the project is often referred to as ‘chickenosaurus’, this is maybe not quite the awesome sight Spielberg had in mind
On top of that, you can also consider the Cretaceous plant species that give Jurassic Park its lush, verdant quality like radiation (how were they even supposed to get plant DNA from a mosquito? during Veganuary) ?) And, obviously, the creatures wouldn’t be recreations of once-dead species such as the T rex, but a man-made version of how we believe dinosaurs were They might lack the same majesty than in the movie, especially since – knowing the connection between dinosaurs and birds – things could also be a bit more depressing than onscreen
So, Jurassic Park’s vision of designing genetically modified dinosaur-like creatures Will they be set up in an awesome theme park offering Jeep tours? Less likely, but who knows? You hope not, given that we’re now five films in depth to see how they end up turning humanity into a mid-morning snack In the words of Jeff Goldblum: Sometimes we’re so concerned about whether we could do it, we don’t stop to think if we should
World News – GB – Reality bites: Could Jurassic Park really happen?