With the screening of the sixth movie of “Jurassic Park” … cloning of extinct dinosaurs between film and science | Sciences

Film films, especially science fiction films, are not expected to be documentaries or educational films. It is sufficient that they are based on – or inspired by – scientific facts to stimulate exploration and imagination.

Cinemas around the world will begin showing the sixth movie in the “Jurassic Park” series of films, and the third in the “Dinosaur World” trilogy, entitled “Jurassic World Dominion”, and its events revolve around the distribution of dinosaurs in The world after the destruction of the protected island and its struggle with humans for domination and control of the planet.

A breakthrough in science fiction films

The release of Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film “Jurassic Park” was a breakthrough in science fiction films related to biology, genetic engineering and cloning, and fueled the imagination of biologists themselves before arousing people’s interest with a fundamental question surrounded by many ethical issues: Is Can scientists one day clone extinct animals from their DNA?

The 1993 movie Jurassic Park was a revolution in science fiction movies (websites)

Despite the strangeness of the idea and the fact that it is closer to fiction than to the truth, scientific developments in selective breeding techniques, genetic engineering and reproductive cloning have encouraged scientists to think about it, and even strive to do so. especially with the success of cloning a mammal for the first time in 1996 – Dolly the Sheep – using the “Dolly” technology Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT). Ironically, the first movie in the “Dinosaur Sanctuary” series was released 3 years earlier. Were the movie scientists inspired to clone Dolly the sheep? We may never know the answer.

Many scientists dream of bringing extinct animals back to life, similar to the movies of the dinosaur world. There are many known attempts, the first of which was reported by the Encyclopedia Britannica on the experiment to clone the extinct “Pyrenean ibex” using the “somatic nucleus transfer” technique, but the cloned ibex died minutes after its lung infection. birth.

Bring an extinct frog back to existence!

As for the greatest achievement that scientists have made in re-establishing extinct animals, this was represented in the experiment of the frog that became extinct in 1983 and was known to swallow its eggs until they hatched in its stomach and it is why it was called the “Stomach Frog”.

Scientists – within the “Lazarus project” run by Newcastle University, was able to re-establish the extinct frog by cloning the embryos of the extinct frog using advanced cloning technology to create a “dead cell nucleus” in the egg of another kind of frog after removing its original core.

Although the attempt was technically successful, the embryos lived only a few days and then died. Time magazine ranked the experiment among the 25 best inventions of 2013, as it managed to revive the extinct frog, albeit for a short period of time.

Revival of the woolly mammoth

The race is currently underway between the two institutions “Colossal for Biological Sciences” founded by the well-known geneticist Dr. George Church, a professor at Harvard University, and the “Revive and Restore” Foundation to give back the extinct “woolly mammoth” 4 thousand years. ago.

The Colossal Foundation received initial funding of $ 15 million, and last March it received $ 60 million in investment funding. Ironically, the executive producer of the “Dinosaur World” movies was among the contributors.

Two companies compete to revive extinct woolly mammoth 4,000 years ago (Flickr)

The researchers want to combine the DNA of mammoths preserved in ice for thousands of years with modern-day Asian elephants, to acquire all the characteristics of woolly mammoths and to live in the cold places where giant mammoths roamed thousands of years ago.

The question that now arises is, if scientists succeed in bringing the extinct mammoth back in the near future, does that mean they will succeed in returning the dinosaurs to our world?

Dinosaur DNA extraction

The basic idea of ​​the films, and before that of the original novels, is based on bringing the extinct dinosaurs back to our world by cloning them from the DNA extracted from their blood that was sucked up by mosquitoes before entering the world. tree houses froze. Then comes the stage of building the complete genome of this DNA and completing the missing parts of the frog’s DNA code, and then placing the complete genetic code into unfertilized ostrich or emu eggs.

There are problems with this proposal. To revive a large number of extinct dinosaurs, you will need to freeze a large number of mosquitoes in the amber that fed on the blood of different types of these dinosaurs.

In order to revive a large number of extinct dinosaurs, a large number of mosquitoes must be frozen in amber (websites)

If we accept so many mosquitoes and abundant blood samples for dinosaurs, there remains a biological problem that has nothing to do with scientific progress: DNA, like all natural organic matter, decays and deteriorates over time.

The researchers found that the half-life of DNA is 521 years, which means that after this period is over, half of the bonds between nucleotides (the basic units of DNA) will break down, and after another 521 years the remaining half of these bonds break down.

Harvard researchers believe that they are able to revive the woolly mammoth because these specimens are 4,000 years old, and the tissues of these specimens are well preserved in the ice, and the DNA of the dinosaurs has passed 66 million years. , which is a very long period of time, and until scientists succeed in using Modern genetic techniques to extract the DNA of dinosaurs, they must be able to extract a valid and complete genetic code, which is impossible because dinosaur DNA does not exist in the first place. place did not exist.

A dinosaur hatching from its egg (Jurassic Park, 1993)

And many may not know that the name itself is inaccurate, since most of the dinosaurs embodied in the movies actually belong to the “Cretaceous” era, which covers the period from 145 million years to 65 million years ago, and is the third and last of the three eras of the Mesozoic Era, and it precedes. Right in the Jurassic period, the extinction of the dinosaurs took place in the Cretaceous period, not the Jurassic period.

Of course, films, especially science fiction films, are not expected to be documentaries or educational films. It is sufficient that they are based on – or inspired by – scientific facts to stimulate exploration and imagination.

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