Dinosaurs! Well, they do not really exist now. They existed and spread fear millions of years ago; 66 million years ago to be precise. If I talk about dinosaurs, many people wouldn’t bother, except kids because they are excited about everything they don’t know. Sometimes I feel like adults are lame. Anyway..back to the topic. Lets talk about re-creating dinosaurs!
Okay, so personally, I feel this will be a really dumb thing to do especially after watching all the Jurassic Park movies and each movie depicting the horrible situation everyone ends up in (Optimistically ending it every time is just a Hollywood thing). But first things first, can we actually re-create dinosaurs? And if the answer is yes, should we?
Theoretically speaking, we can re-create dinosaurs and we don’t need a witch’s concoction from the past or anything. All we need is their DNA. Now, that is the biggest lacuna here. We don’t have their DNA. You would be wondering “Ofcourse we don’t have their DNA. They are 66 million years old creatures!” The theory that still makes us believe that we can bring them back is that there would be some mosquito in the Mesozoic age (dinosaur age) who would have had his last supper of dinosaur blood, would have gotten stuck into Amber (tree resin) which would have turned into a gemstone and preserved the mosquito. So basically we are hoping to find a gemstone that has a mosquito who has ingested the red blood cell containing the DNA of the dinosaur.
Trust me, it sounds like I am prating but I am not. This is exactly what the scientists are thinking.
What do we do when we get that DNA?
Simple. As dinosaurs share characteristics with their closest relatives which are birds (or even crocodiles), we would integrate their DNA into a bird and create a dinosaur (of course it is not as simple as it sounds). We would need the whole genome sequence of the dinosaur to make one from a bird but we can’t even find the DNA, let alone finding the whole sequence because it is possible that if we do find DNA, it might have some gaps in it that we wouldn’t know how to fill. In that case, we would use an organism that has a sequence closest to the Dino sequence we found and would fill the gaps with the known sequence.
What do we do when we don’t get that DNA?
Quite likely to not get the DNA. The problem is that over time, DNA breaks down, so you can imagine that if we are hoping to find intact DNA from millions of years ago, we are going a tad overboard with optimism. Let me tell you though, scientists have found dinosaur blood with that prolix theory I mentioned above, but they failed to find DNA. So, what can we do? An alternative would be cloning. We can work backwards in this case and reverse-engineer a dinosaur. We would take a living animal and reverse 66 million years of evolution by examining its phylogenic tree ( a branching diagram showing relationships between different biological species). For example we can take a chicken, we alter certain genes and make it grow dinosaur like teeth but then we wouldn’t know if it would also grow claws or wings or scales. So, there are co-factors that we don’t know about when we are using this process.
If we finally end up creating them, would they be able to survive given that they are so many million years old and they function in a way that would be far too obsolete to survive amongst the animal species we come across in this era? What would they eat (I hope not us), where would they stay (I hope not in zoos). Do they belong with us? If so, why did natural selection not allow it? Maybe because nature is smarter than human brains and did whatever was necessary. Let’s just keep them in the past for now. What do you think?
Should we bring them back if given a chance?