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Can a chicken be regressed in to a dinosaur?


Posted on Thursday, 14 May, 2015 | Comment icon 36 comments

Birds are the modern descendants of the dinosaurs. Image Credit: PD - Wiki
Scientists have succeeded in reverting the beaks of chicken ambryos in to dinosaur-like snouts.
In the movie 'Jurassic Park' scientists were able to clone dinosaurs by retrieving their DNA from blood-sucking insects preserved in amber, but there is another potential way to bring these prehistoric reptiles back from the dead and it involves the very species that the dinosaurs would eventually evolve in to - birds.

Through genetic manipulation, scientists believe, it may one day be possible to regress the DNA of a modern species back in to the state it was in millions of years ago and create a living dinosaur.

While accomplishing this is still a very long way off, researchers at Harvard University recently managed to achieve the first tentative steps with one specific part of a bird - its beak.

By manipulating the gene proteins of chicken embryos the scientists were able to revert the animals' beaks back in to snouts reminiscent of those seen in therapod dinosaurs such as Velociraptor.

"The beak is a crucial part of the avian feeding apparatus, and is the component of the avian skeleton that has perhaps diversified most extensively and most radically," said study lead author Bhart-Anjan Bhullar.

The scientists are hoping that these unique embryos will help them to better understand both how the beak evolved and how dinosaurs transitioned in to birds over millions of years.

"There are between 10,000 and 20,000 species of birds alive today, at least twice as many as the total number of mammal species, and so in many ways it is still the Age of Dinosaurs," said Bhullar.

Source: Live Science | Comments (36)

Tags: Dinosaur, Bird, Chicken

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #27 Posted by aquatus1 on 15 May, 2015, 12:43
Well...no, not scary...
Comment icon #28 Posted by TripGun on 15 May, 2015, 14:41
KFC funded research?
Comment icon #29 Posted by paperdyer on 15 May, 2015, 17:18
Why do we want to regress a chicken into something that may attack us? Oh and doesn't this prove the egg did come first?
Comment icon #30 Posted by BeastieRunner on 15 May, 2015, 17:55
Is this for real? Or is it viral marketing for the new Jurassic Park movie?
Comment icon #31 Posted by NightScreams on 15 May, 2015, 22:00
The genes in birds would only be certain dinosaurs...not T-Rex's or any of the more common ones. The DNA of those dino's are completely extinct in modern animals...you know the whole mass extinction thing and the DNA remnants that we do have is not complete anymore either. It might be possible to flip some switches in bird DNA like they done here but to do so completely rebuild what once existed might not be possible if every bit of the information encoded in the DNA is no longer there.
Comment icon #32 Posted by aquatus1 on 15 May, 2015, 22:44
That said, there is the intriguing possibility that convergent evolution is a more powerful player than we suspect, and while we may not be able to isolate the original dino DNA (because its gone), we might well be able to re-create it.
Comment icon #33 Posted by aquatus1 on 15 May, 2015, 23:26
Just wait till the c*** fighters get ahold of this gene science! "Hey man, we using spurs for this fight, or you want to play baby-style? "Please, go right ahead. I won't use spurs, but mine has had a little work done, hope you don't mind."
Comment icon #34 Posted by Blurfoot on 16 May, 2015, 0:31
We do this to chickens, then we complain when aliens perform anal probing on us! Double standards.
Comment icon #35 Posted by aquatus1 on 16 May, 2015, 0:38
In all fairness, given the option, I'll take a deathmatch.
Comment icon #36 Posted by thenIsaid on 4 June, 2015, 4:52
Boy, after the way we've treated chickens all these eons, we'd better be careful.


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