When Jurassic Park was first written and then transformed into a blockbuster movie, the idea of recreating dinosaurs was pure science fiction. However, so often the only thing keeping science fiction from becoming reality is time, and now it appears that researchers think that bringing dinosaurs back from extinction is only a matter of time. If this strikes you as a supremely bad idea, because you've seen how this movie ends, you're not the only one. Jeff Goldblum sounded off on the news as well, as only he could...
Jeff Goldblum channels his character from Jurassic Park, Ian Malcolm, and quotes himself in reference to whether or not bringing dinosaurs back is a good idea. As every Jurassic Park movie showed us, it was all a very bad idea.
And yet, it seems that scientists are trying to do exactly that. To be fair, it's not all exactly like Jurassic Park. It seems that due to the degradation that happens to DNA over time, actually finding actual dinosaur DNA would never actually work. Instead, it seems that the idea currently being worked on is taking the relationship between dinosaurs and modern birds and using that as the gateway to bring them back. The feeling is that it's possible to take a chicken's DNA and modify it in such a way that you could turn it into a small dino-chicken.
In the end, this wouldn't recreate any species of dinosaur that ever existed, but I suppose it would give scientists an opportunity to study the closest possible thing. At the same time, one has to wonder what this does to the "chickensoras" which is seriously what they're actually calling it. Isn't it cruel and unusual to turn a chicken into something like that?
If we are really only five years away from a creating a version of a dinosaur, that is surely impressive, but Jeff Goldblum's comments do come ringing back. Just because science is capable of doing that, is that really something that science should be doing? It's not really clear exactly what the point actually is. There's only so much you'll be able to learn about actual dinosaurs by creating this artificial one. It seems like most of the important stuff would still be out of reach.
Still, we'll want to keep our eyes on this. If we're really only five years away, then somewhere between now and 2024 we could be looking at our own Jurassic Park. Even if it turns out to be little more than a petting zoo.