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Understand why science can’t “revive” dinosaurs

With the “Jurassic Park” franchise movies, many are wondering if the giants of the past could be resurrected

At the beginning of this year, it was Mega biological lensesInc., a biotechnology startup, made headlines around the world with its unusual proposal to use gene-editing technology to try to bring back a series of extinct animals.

Examples are Dodo birdwhich disappeared in the seventeenth century, the most impressive is that Woolly mammothwho lived through ice Age (also known as the Ice Age).

Illustrative image of a dodo (left) and mammoth (right) / Credit: Reproduction / Pixabay / Kellepics

Initiatives like this, which have already received millions of dollars from investors, may lead some to wonder if a world like ours is even possible Jurassic ParkFor example, where there are different types of dinosaur Revived, may it cease to be a fantasy.

frightful Prehistoric animals that inhabit the franchise are much older than mammoths. While Ice Age animals lived 10,000 years ago, species such as tyrannosaurus rexAnd Velociraptor that it pterodactyl inhabits the Earth 66 million years.

Below, understand the very real possibility that we might one day be in there with something beyond the bones left by the giants of those periods. Jurassic that it chalky!

Fossils and DNA

Illustrative image of a T-rex from Jurassic Park / Credit: Disclosure / Universal Studios

To be able to recreate in vitro organisms that no longer exist at present, it is first necessary to know DNA. Science now knows the structure of dinosaur genes, he announced A study published in Scientific Reports in 2018.

However, we don’t know the exact order in which these units of genetic information are arranged, and there are millions and millions that need to be in specific sequences to function as they should.

And for better or for worse, it’s unlikely we’ll ever find dinosaur fossils in sufficient quantities. genes reserved to decode these sequences, because the genetic material is very sensitive and tends to get lost over time.

As pointed out by Discovery Portal, the DNA Its half-life is 521 years. This means that in each 521-year cycle, 50% of it decays. On the other hand, when exposed to lower temperatures (below minus five degrees Celsius), the half-life increases to 158,000 years – which is why the so-called “ice mummies” are always in good condition.

However, even this promising time window does not fit into the tens of millions of years that have passed since the fall Chicxulub asteroidwhich turned off dinosaurs. So it’s safe to say that the possibility of finding genetic parts from these prehistoric beasts is nil.

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