How does one build a dinosaur? There's the much-celebrated Crichton/Spielberg method, in which you extract dino DNA from a preserved prehistoric mosquito. But there are problems with this approach, says paleontologist Jack Horner in a recent TED Talk, and besides: there are plenty of spare dinosaur parts laying around our modern world from which to build a dinosaur. We just need to find the right ones.
Horner has spent a career digging up some of the best-preserved biological artifacts leftover from the dinosaurs' tenure on this planet, but in none of them, not even the soft tissues like preserved blood vessels, could he or his team find intact DNA--the kind you need to clone a dinosaur a la Jurassic Park. So he and some colleagues are looking for dino-era DNA in dinosaurs' descendants: modern birds.
Chickens, Horner says, have the keys to building a dinosaur etched into their genomes. Things like teeth, claws, and tails are still expressed in embryonic chickens, but are all turned off at some point during embryonic development by genes that evolution has made ubiquitous in modern birds. By turning these genes off, we've already engineered chickens expressing teeth, and by turning off still more we might resurrect more of the dinosaur's prehistoric traits, no mosquito mining necessary.
Horner tells the story better than we do, hear him explain it in the video below.
Oh dear. You've done it again Popsci. This is, in a way, a bit like evolution. If anyone is thinking of trolling about evolution or religion, don't even think about it. I don't want to put up with idiots fighting about either of those. Religious people tend to say god created everything. Scientific people tend to say the universe has been here for a long time and everything has evolved. However, both are just theories. There is no proof that god exists or proof that there was a big bang. I don't want to hear your opinion on my comment. If you want to fight over any of this, Popsci is not the place to do it. Because, you know, it's a science site.
Haha yes ... But now they are trying to get rid of the Big Bang theory and replacing it with "Rapid Expansion" Im not sure what the difference really is but what ever gives them job security. lol
So, wait, describing specific findings without even commenting on the implications is sparking controversy? Is the existence of chickens, then, itself, trolling?
And if so, which came first: the trolling, or the troll? = )
Great, so now we are going to have to worry about teeth and tails in our 3 piece meals too.......
<quote><i>" I don't want to hear your opinion on my comment. If you want to fight over any of this, Popsci is not the place to do it. Because, you know, it's a science site."</i></quote>
Actually, I agreed with most of what you had to say. I hope you don't mind hearing that. But beyond that, how can you assume the right to voice an opinion here, on this science site, and then deny the whole world the right to either disagree or even comment to your comment?
Debate is not a bad thing. Keeping an open mind does lead you down a rabbit hole to some universe where governments prepare for... um, a zombie apocalypse. That's just where we all happen to live.
Oops, did I do that? Well, it looks like you had to hear my opinion anyway. I really feel bad about that, too.
Haha yes...but now they are trying to get rid of dinosaurs on Noah's ark and replace them with chickens. Im not sure what the difference really is but what ever gives them job security. lol See what I did there. That was an implied debate.
well, looking at the bone structure of the dinosaur compared to the chicken, I think it could just as well be ANY kind of walking bird, like an emu, or an ostrich, not just chickens.
as for Little Jack Horner, I'm surprised there haven't been any jokes regarding his name. XD
The National Academy of Science (U.S.)
Scientists most often use the word "fact" to describe an observation. But scientists can also use fact to mean something that has been tested or observed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing or looking for examples. The occurrence of evolution in this sense is fact. Scientists no longer question whether descent with modification occurred because the evidence is so strong. Take that Navy1270.
*Sigh* Whatever. What am I to stop any of you from proving me wrong? I just want people to quit fighting over little things over the internet.
Nav1270: who says evolution is a theory? You bumbling denial type it's around you every second of every day. It's why we create drugs to fight bacteria they evolve and defeat our drugs. It's why we fight bugs with chemicals and they evolve to defeat DNT, etc (such as bedbugs are not completely immune to it). The bigger the creature the slower the evolution rate and that's why in your small brain you can't sense the evolution of beings such as yourself so you call it a 'theory'.
It's amazing how people cannot understand the timescales involved with evolution or time itself in terms of millions and billions of years. They can only think in the terms of ten minutes ago or maybe tonights TV show and that's the limit of their intelligence.
Ok! I get it! I'm wrong, Jesus! Most comments on here are proving me wrong and I can't do anything about it. I don't want to argue anymore! >:(
I think it's funny that he described the big bang as unproven. Which part of the big bang (which I think you're probably confusion with the standard cosmological model) isn't proven? The .00000000~1 seconds when physical law doesn't exist in our universe (thus preventing us from deriving further backwards)?
Navy, argument online is everywhere. Don't feel defensive because people corrected your misinformation. Learn from it and make yourself better with it. There's no point in getting defensive, all it does is make you want to ignore correct information presented by what you percieve to be your enemy.
Further before you describe a theory to a religious belief please understand what the difference between a scientific theory is versus a language theory is. In common language theory means idea, opinion or belief, in scientific terms a theory is something very well tested which has yet to be proven wrong but cannot be proven with 100% certainty of being correct. So while we can prove 99.999% certainty that gravity exists, gravity is still a theory. While we can prove with 99.999% certainty that germs can cause illness we can't prove with certainty that they always will.
The fact of the matter is Evolution is more scientifically accepted than the theory of gravity for very good reason. It is fact, the onus of responsibility is on you to find out why and to present accurate information.
@wm.jesse.miller there is HUGE difference. the big bang theory is an almost archaic theory no physicist uses any more.
"Haha yes ... But now they are trying to get rid of the Big Bang theory and replacing it with "Rapid Expansion" Im not sure what the difference really is but what ever gives them job security. lol"
its not really LOL at all. do a little research first. The big bang model was proposed way before dark energy and dark matter were held in any high regard at all. First off: observational data basically crushes the big bang theroy. After years of measuring energy backgrounds and speed or lack there of expansion the big bang theory does not hold much water. This was supported by, and led to the idea of dark matter and dark energy which is all but 100% proven to exist in the quantities theorized. The expansion model fits current phycicis 100 times better. They are still not sure though. Quataim phyicis has thrown many loops holes into the equations mainly in the first nano secondes of the universiserse existence.
sorry for the spelling mistakes. im on lunch break.. in a hurry.
The chicken and the egg.. its really a very simply answer. The egg came first. I think any scientisc would answer the same. If the chicken came first that would mean creationism existed and thats just a silly kids idea.
A chicken LIKE creature laid an egg that had slight mutations, this happened over and over again until the mutations created an egg that hatched into what we call a chicken.
I mean DUH!!!! what came first the gray wolf or the bassist hound! its not a trick question. The domestic dog, all of them, any of them are all evolutionary decedents of the wild gray wolf. we know this as scientific FACT. just like the chicken and the egg.
"I think it's funny that he described the big bang as unproven."
read my above post. it has in fact been VERY unproven.
but similar models have taken its place.
the big bang: Super condensed matter blew up and began to expand.
this is FALSE!!!! we know this as scientific FACT that this is false.
But something close to that happened. but its was not as simple and clean as the VERY old big bang theroy discribed.
There was a very deliberate and very rapid slow down of the expansion. When was the last time you saw a fire cracker or any explosion slow down half way through exploding??
Lets put it this way. the big bang theory is out, has been for 15 years!!!! the new theorieS (with a big S) are very much up in debate so that is why the big bang theory is still in the public mind as the definition theory.
The most widely accepted, but still very debated, is the expansion theory. imagine a balloon. when you blow it up it expands SUPER fast, then as the rubber reaches a certain tension (becuase of air molecules pushing against each other and compressed) the balloon still expands but at a much slower rate. that is what what they think happened to the universe.
"then as the rubber reaches a certain tension (becuase of air molecules pushing against each other and compressed)"
sorry that doesnt make any sense to me after I re-read it. but the rubber reaches tension nonetheless after being blown up a certian perctange.
The air pressure has nothing to do with this analogy.
If you know the right sequence you could build a dinosaur from carrot DNA.
Listen up nerds! Quit it, you're making God mad.
And I'm sorry to say but Navy1270 is on to something. God and Science are on equal footing. They are both systems that can only be proved or supported by using the (respective) system itself. They both rely on faith in things that you cannot see or experience. They both fail to answer fundamental questions about their origins. They both stop me from building a mechanical robot wife to replace the one I have now.
And....queue someone saying that science is more "real" and then explain why scientific methods when applied to God prove God to be a sham. Different paradigm folks and it presumes the superiority of "science" before the debate even begins.
the beginning of the universe is not nearly 100% proven; dark matter and dark energy are both a theory, the scientists studying them admit something else may be at work, however, at this time they believe they are on the right track; the big bang theory has not been discarded, it has been adjusted to satisfy new observations, it too could be replaced by something undiscovered and some scientists believe the big bang theory will be discarded, nothing new here; just science at work
"It's amazing how people cannot understand the timescales involved with evolution or time itself in terms of millions and billions of years."
I think it's actually fairly expected that this would occur.
Our stupid monkey brains didn't evolve to understand numbers like "million" and "billion"... we evolved to understand numbers like "one" (banana) or "two" (bananas) or "a few" (bananas) or "some" (bananas) or "lots" (of bananas)...
We generally can understand numbers we can eat. I can't imagine trying to eat a million bananas... so it's hard to conceptualize. But, eating 4 bananas is pretty easy to conceptualize...
*makes monkey noises and scampers off*
"If anyone is thinking of trolling about evolution or religion, don't even think about it."
LOL... 'cause you wanna maintain the monopoly on such trolling through your initial comment?
So which came first, the dinosaur or the egg?
i agree. that's exactly what i and others have been trying to tell people. but than again debate is healthy for the mind so a little argument here and there aint so bad. dinosaurs do remind me alot of birds.
I personally would love a chicken-sized T-Rex pet.
But then again, I also think that we need another creature on this planet to keep us humans on our toes.
And packs of Chicken-Rexes roaming the planet would do nicely!
This is not new information, so I don't know why this is on the front page of PopSci.
I first heard ALL of the info presented in a special on the Discovery Channel by the same guy in the video above (Dr. Horner) called "Discovery Dinosaurs Return to Life". It aired Feb 17 2008.
Here is an article that summarizes the Discovery Special. There is no new info in the above video that was not covered.
If you are interested in this more, I recommend finding a copy of "Dinosaurs Return to Life". It gives a more in depth look at what and how they did this.
I found you can watch the special on Youtube. Below is the link:
Discovery Dinosaurs Return to Life
"The chicken is a dinosaur, I mean it really is, you can't argue with it because we're the classifiers and we classified it that way."
That was prolly the most important line in the talk.
I wouldn't get your heart set on the 'scientist' types here understanding what it means to 'assume what you're trying to prove'.
Further, with all the discussion going on here....does no one want to talk about the elephant in the room? I mean, the whole first half of the talk is about millions of years old soft tissue.
it's not still actually soft, soft tissue that has fossilized has turned into rock
@ Dr Chuck "the beginning of the universe is not nearly 100% proven; dark matter and dark energy are both a theory,"
adctually just this past month scientist think they have now have defiintive proof of dark matter.
and yeah dark matter and dark energy may still be theories, but 89% of the universise is made of something other than visible matter. that is fact. so really the only thing that is still theory is what the hell to call the other 89%. when you say theory, it just means that that have not pin pointed what exactly dark matter and dark energy are, but they have pretty much been 100% proven to exist.