Science has long pushed to find a way to bring back species from a state of extinction. After all, we can all agree that it would be pretty cool to see a dodo bird casually strolling through the forest, or a tyrannosaurus rex living next to the gorillas at the zoo.
Believe it or not, the latter may not be too far out of reach…
1. Hollywood Fantasies
The vast majority of us non-scientists were introduced to the prospect of bringing the dinosaurs back by the blockbuster hit Jurassic Park, but just how credible were the methods used in the film? Most scientists agree that the insect-in-amber approach is long shot. Read on to learn why…
2. One-In-A-Million Mosquito
The initial concept behind the story of Jurassic Park actually originated in a research lab with a group known as the Extinct DNA Study Group. The team was investigating the question of whether or not DNA extracted from ancient mosquitos preserved in amber after having consumed the blood of dinosaurs could be used to bring back the extinct creatures.
3. The Odds Are Against It
Unfortunately, reality does not lend itself to this process. According to University of California at Berkeley-based Entomologist George Poinar (who has spent his career studying these preserved critters), it is very rare that scientists come across an insect preserved in resin who even has any inner cells intact, let alone the cells of dinosaurs.
4. Jurassic Ambitions
Despite the general unlikelihood of finding a preserved mosquito with usable dinosaur DNA, Poinar acknowledged the theoretical possibility in 1980, when he came across his first preserved insect that actually still had cells intact after 40 million years. One day, a curious author named Michael Crichton visited his lab to inquire about these findings. Michael went on to write the novel Jurassic Park.