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Bringing back Dinosaurs?


DirteeRice
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I remember that fairly recently there was news of a frozen T-Rex skeleton found with an actual skin sample still on the bones.

 

As far as I udnerstand, it's DNA strcture was not complete, therefore rendering it "unconeable".

 

Although, with so many advancements in the field of cloning, it may even be possible to splice alligator/crocodile or even turtle DNA into the current sample and effectively create a hyrbid T-Rex if this iat all possible.

 

Does anyone think that we will be seeing this in our future? The ice caps are melting, and we will be finding quite a bit of interesting fossils under them that should be very well preserved.

 

Hell, we could even bring back woolly mammoths I bet.

 

What do you think?

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Well, first, the Rex fossil wasn't frozen, but fossilized in the normal manner. It's just that the mineralization was totally external and didn't reach the inner layer. Also, there was no DNA, just collagen, iirc, which is a protien. It's the same stuff in skin, but it's not actual skin.

 

As for mammoths, there's already talk of trying it, but I think funding is a real issue.

 

As for dinos, I doubt it will be possible to clone them without a time machine (which makes cloning them a moot point). There's no source of DNA, and while crocs and birds are relatives/descendants of dinosaurs, there have been way too many changes since then. You'd still have a whole lot of code missing, with no way of filling it in.

 

As a science weblog I read says often, you might as well buy a lot of steel wool and try to knit a Lambourgini.

 

Ice age megafauna like mammoths and ground sloths, though, aren't totally out of the question.

 

Mokele

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Ah, I see then. Well, I would be happy to see a mammoth.

 

Although, it would be very interesting to actually see a live dinosaur. But it does give me some sketchy flashbacks of Jurassic Park. XD

 

Do you think cloning of dinosaurs may ever be possible if we do happen to find some DNA specimine? If they can survive for that long anyways.

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Although, it would be very interesting to actually see a live dinosaur.

 

Oh, definitely, I'd love it! They've been one of my driving passions since childhood. You could say I simply never grew out of dinosaurs.

 

Do you think cloning of dinosaurs may ever be possible if we do happen to find some DNA specimine? If they can survive for that long anyways.

 

So far as I know, DNA can't survive very long on account of it's fragility. But if we did find something, then I can't see why not.

 

Mokele

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Ah very fun ideas.

 

Also makes me wish that I could live long enough until we are able to freely travel through space when driving a spacecraft is as normal as driving a car.

 

My saddest realization is the fact that I will never know what secrets the universe holds, and that I will most likely be 6 feet under long before then.

 

We can all dream though. And in dreams we have no rules binding us.

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Got any pictures of this recently discovered T-Rex?

 

Also, I think that perhaps we could bring back mammoths, which would be totally awesome.

 

Then we could have them fight against huge elephants and rhinos and start the bets. :D:P

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Not offhand, but I've seen a few online. Google Tyrannosaurus protien and you should find some. It's inside a femur, so it basically looks like a typical rex femur, cut in half, with yellow rubbery stuff inside.

 

Then we could have them fight against huge elephants and rhinos and start the bets.

 

Given their affinities with birds, would a fight between theropod dinosaurs still be a cockfight?

 

Mokele

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Why only mammoths?

We've all seen Jurassic Park. The DNA taken from fossilized mosquitoes. It's only a matter of time.... :)

 

 

Ah, I forgot about that. And yes that would definitely be a viable possibility.

 

The blood/DNA would still be intact as it would be inside a mosquito which is also inside a fossil and most likely ice.

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the dna would be partly digested before fossilization... ti would probably be a blend of different species blood, and the DNA is still liekly to break down overtime. It's a fickle molecule. Maybe if a mosquito fed on one species, immediately got trapped, and then was flashfrozen, but otherwise...

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Not really very possible. If you've ever heard of people doing stuff with ancient DNA (usually meaning less than one million years old), you'll be aware that to even do PCR of a short fragment is nearly impossible. I got my head chewed off for even opening a drawer that had pipettes in it that people used for ancient DNA. The chances of being able to reconstruct the millions of base pairs required to build a dinosaur would be vanishingly small. My old adviser wrote a book about precisely why this won't work - "The Science of Jurassic Park."

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As technology and knowledge of the workings of DNA improves, is it at all likely that parts of the missing code that can't be extrapolated from living relatives could be substituted with "written" approximates? Using whatever knowledge can be gleaned from the incomplete reconstruction, and, of course, what can be roughly worked out even from fossils, maybe?

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I am optimistic that it would be possible to create a creature that looks like a dinasaur built from leftover DNA. I remember reading in newScientist that if two or more descendants of a particular species exist then it is possible to recreate much of the origional species' DNA by using very clever algorithms, just how much is lost is the only quesion.

 

Would it be possible to somehow make a mule fertile?

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Yes at some level of advancement we could do some very scary things with DNA. Suppose some information is lost. With our growing computing capacity we could parcel out the problem to a peer network of a million desktops and try every possible combination for the missing base pairs. All thats really needed is a general idea of what proteins are produced by certain genes and when in the development process these genes become active.

 

Will we ever do this? Some stuff leading to this is being done but I think we have more pressing problems that could put a serious monkey wrench in attaining our bioscience goals, namely ENERGY.

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The problem is that even if you use the shared DNA of birds and crocs to reconstruct much of the DNA of dinosaurs, you're still missing all the genes that made dinosaurs *different* from birds and crocs, genes unique to them which vanished when they did.

 

Without an original sample of dino DNA, reconstruction will be impossible, since we don't know what we're trying to reconstruct. No dinosaurs were frozen, and any DNA in fossils (mosquitoes in amber, bones like the one above, whatever) will have long since decayed simply by the effects of time. DNA is pretty stable, but eventually, it just breaks down. Entropy and all that.

 

Mokele

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I think you are underestimating the power of mathematics. If I give you the following code ATTGA-TTG and say that the one is missing you have three choices A, T or G for the missing part. Admittedly the number of combinations and the algorithm for looking at the precursors is very complex but they are already working on protein folding using distributed computer networks. Reconstructing DNA is not as far fetched as it might seem.

 

The important advancement would be understanding the proteins produced by various genes and then using other inferences about dinosaurs to limit the possibilities. In otherwords there needs to be a simulation that takes a DNA sequence and helps us investigate what it does. Then its just a matter of time and computing power.

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I think you are seriously overestimating the power of mathematics. Yes, there is a finite number of combinations, but which is the right one? Most yield functional protiens, so how do you choose? How do you *know* you have the right skin pigmentation, intestine length, breeding behavior, lung capacity, immune system or eyes? None of these fossilize, and we can't do anything except guess.

 

What about (to steal a term from Zim) the dinosaur squeedlysploodge organ? We have no idea if they had entire organs that are unknown in modern species, because they don't fossilize.

 

Basically, imagine you have a book, and you delete 99% of the letters, but not randomly. Some paragraphs are intact, but then you have 80 pages of blankness. How do you reconstruct that? The answer is you *can't*. You can make a guess, and make a crude fascimilie, but never truly recapture that data, since it's *gone*. Same thing. All we have are a few bones, with most of the important bits gone.

 

Yes, with enough computing power you could engineer something that *looks* like a dinosaur, but it wouldn't really *be* a dinosaur. It'd just be a crude replica.

 

Mokele

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i remember a couple of years back they found a frozen dinosaur on the antartic i think.

 

so obviously the goverment is hiding stuff from us

 

I find that highly unlikely... dinosaurs would have died off long before freezing as the continent drifted to the south pole.

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i remember a couple of years back they found a frozen dinosaur on the antartic i think.

 

so obviously the goverment is hiding stuff from us

A number of species have been found in the antarctic, such as Cryolophosaurus. BUT they all died and were buried when the climate was still pretty mild; they were in no way frozen, and the fossils were typical, nothing but mineralized bone.
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Yes, with enough computing power you could engineer something that *looks* like a dinosaur, but it wouldn't really *be* a dinosaur. It'd just be a crude replica.
But as long as it was engineered to possess all the properties of dinosaurs that we can infer from what remains of them, it would be good enough, I think.
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But as long as it was engineered to possess all the properties of dinosaurs that we can infer from what remains of them, it would be good enough, I think.

 

Well, maybe for public exhibition, but not necessarily for actual scientific study.

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