Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Scientist Plan to 'Reverse-Engineer' Dinosaurs From Modern Chickens (video)

This is really cool news or the end of life as we know it. Imagine having your very own dino-pet... A pet that doesn't shed fur on the couch or eat you in your sleep... Check out the research by Hans Larsson and a video below from TED Talks with guest speaker Jack Horner explaining the possibility of creating a dinosaur from a modern-day chicken... 
Renowned paleontologist Jack Horner has spent his career trying to reconstruct a dinosaur. He's found fossils with extraordinarily well-preserved blood vessels and soft tissues, but never intact DNA. So, in a new approach, he's taking living descendants of the dinosaur (chickens) and genetically engineering them to reactivate ancestral traits - including teeth, tails, and even hands - to make a "Chickenosaurus".
-   jump to 9:30 to hear the dino-chicken explanation  -

By securing the funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canada Research Chairs program, and the National Geographic Society, Hans Larsson will attempt to reverse engineer a dinosaur from a chicken by altering the genes known to have evolved since the Cretaceous Period.
Needless to say, there are many problems with the very concept of making a dinosaur out of a chicken. For one, dinosaurs, as a group, are defined by only a few characteristics: a hole in their hip socket, some limb bone flanges, and other minor anatomical features. Changing chicken DNA won't produce those traits, because chickens already have them. A chicken, like all birds, is already a dinosaur. Getting rid of its feathers or giving it teeth won't make it more of a dinosaur than it already is.
It's painfully obvious that these scientists never watched the Jurassic Park Trilogy...perhaps someone send them the first movie (...part 2 & 3 are awful)...

via popci youtube

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