Biologist proposes to reverse the evolution of birds to create dinosaurs


A British biochemist assumed that the genetic properties of contemporary birds could be the key to turn the lives of dinosaurs that became extinct 65 million years ago. Dr Alison Woollard think it would be possible to reconstruct the genomes of dinosaurs by altering the DNA of birds. “We know that birds are the direct descendants of dinosaurs, according to what has been demonstrated by a number of fossil finds comprising the evolution of the lineage from creatures like Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus rex to modern flying birds” said Woollard of the University of Oxford.


He mentioned in particular the Archaeopteryx, which lived 150 million years ago and whose name means ‘old wing’, as evidence of transition between dinosaurs and birds. In the movie Jurassic Park, dinosaurs were reproduced by scientists extracting DNA from mosquitoes preserved in amber for millions of years and splicing the DNA chain of the frog. This approach is impossible in reality because the DNA cannot survive more than 6.3 million years according to recent research carried out in Australia. For this reason the scientist poses the topic of “reverse evolution” altering genes to guide the development of a bird breeding and rearing their young and so on, backwards. For creatures that existed no more than 6.8 million years ago, they could use modern cloning technologies.


In this sense the scientist cited the example of the mammoths. Lately there have been recovered several bodies of mammoth in good condition from the Siberian permafrost which has encouraged by South Korean and Russian scientists plan to clone a system that allows these animals. Scientists will have to replace the egg nucleus of the nearby descendant of mammoth – elephant – by the cell nucleus of the mammoth and induce cell division through electroshock, as Woollard said. “Theoretically, a transgenic egg will develop into an embryo and a mammoth calf will be born after two years in the making” said the researcher.


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