The Noah Project

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Could Science Bring Dinosaurs Back to Life?

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Artist's impression of a nesting site of the dinosaur Massospondylus

The Telegraph investigates the theoretical possibility of bringing dinosaurs back to life

They bestrode the earth millions of years ago before dying out, but dinosaurs could theoretically be brought back to life, according to an Oxford biochemist.
Dr Alison Woollard said it would be theoretically possible to recreate ancient animals, through the DNA of birds.
By identifying and altering certain genes found in the DNA of modern birds, she believes scientists may be able to “design” genomes of the prehistoric creatures.
“We know that birds are the direct descendants of dinosaurs, as proven by an unbroken line of fossils which tracks the evolution of the lineage from creatures such as the velociraptor or T-Rex through to the birds flying around today,” said Dr Woollard.
“The most famous of these is the Archaeopteryx, a fossil which clearly shows the transition between feathered dinosaurs and modern birds.
“This evolution implies that buried deep within the DNA of today’s birds are switched-off genes that control dinosaur-like traits.
“Could we ‘rewind’ evolution by switching these genes back on and using them to guide the development of that bird’s offspring, and its offspring’s offspring, backwards?”
“Do we have a moral obligation to reintroduce those modern-day species that we were responsible for killing off?” said Dr Woollard.
“Would the additional biological diversity strengthen our ecosystem or would the clones become a pool for a deadly virus? How far back in time should scientists draw the line?
“And on a more practical note, if we remind ourselves of the terror portrayed in the Jurassic Park blockbuster … do we really want to live alongside dinosaurs?”
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Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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