Hatch A Dinosaur From Birds Using Genetic 'Memory'

Jack Horner, technical adviser on Jurassic Park and professor of palaeontology at Montana State University, believes it might be possible to use the DNA of modern birds to bring back dinosaurid traits.

Horner explains that to make a dinosaur, he would start with the genome (the whole hereditary information encoded in the DNA) of an emu.

‘Emus have all the features we need in order to make a Velociraptor-sized dinosaur,’ he says.

‘If I were to make a dinosaur, that is where I’d start.’

Hans Larsson, a palaeontologist at McGill University in Canada, conducted an experiment recently into the evolution from dinosaurs’ long tails into birds’ short tails more than 150 million years ago. Looking at a two-day-old chicken embryo, he made an unexpected discovery. Expecting to see between four and eight vertebrae present in the developing spine, his microscope instead picked out 16 vertebrae - effectively a reptilian tail.

SF fans of course recall the popularization of this idea in Michael Crichton's 1990 novel Jurassic Park, in which dinosaur DNA was recovered (fictionally) from flies trapped in amber.


(Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah...)

From Daily Mail; thanks to Moira for submitting a tip on the story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/30/2011)

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