Is there anybody out there who didn’t like the Jurassic Park movies? Maybe a few of you raised your hands? Although I can’t fathom why, I do understand that some of you out there might not like dinosaurs all that much. If that’s you, then you’re in the wrong place because May is Dinosaur Month here on my blog, so I give you permission to not visit here for a month (or visit only on Mondays for the devotions).
Jurassic Park is one of my favorite books/movies of all time because it combines my love of science with my love of action with dinosaurs (the most amazing animals ever to walk the earth in my humble opinion). For anybody who might not remember the premise of the book/movie, it’s about scientists who extract dinosaur DNA from mosquitoes fossilized in amber and then clone them. A fantastic scientific premise.
But is this really possible?
Not so much. Last year, researchers at the University of Manchester put the premise of Jurassic Park to the test. They attempted to extract DNA from copal (an intermediate stage material between tree resin and amber). They found no DNA in the samples at all. This isn’t a huge surprise since other researchers have shown the half-life (how long it takes for half of a sample to degrade) of DNA is approximately 521 years.
As for that whole cloning thing? I’m not going to say it’s impossible, but the only success researchers have had with cloning is using living eggs from the same species. Obviously, we don’t have that when it comes to dinosaurs. So, I wouldn’t worry about a T-Rex wandering down your street anytime soon.
I love the scientific ideas behind Jurassic Park, even if they are only science-fiction. It represents the kind of creative thought which continues to push science onward to new discoveries.