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Another Day, Another Scientist Telling Us We Can’t Actually Clone Dinosaurs

hold on to your butts

…and that’s a good thing. For all that Jurassic Park is a masterpiece of cinema, look me in the eye and tell me that if there were a dinosaur theme park, and you went there, you would not be devoured by a T-Rex. I wouldn’t even last an hour.

But to all you daredevils who want science to be able to clone dinosaurs, I’m sorry, but researchers at the University of Manchester have come out and said that it almost definitely won’t happen. The team analyzed insects fossilized in copal, aka solidified tree resin that’s too young to be amber. Using cutting-edge technology they attempted to extract DNA from the insects but found that the samples they got were extremely small, and that most of the DNA they did manage to extract was from bacteria. Definitely uncloneable. And what’s more, the insects range from 60-10,600 years old, making it exponentially younger than dino DNA.

Says team leader Dr. David Penney:

“Intuitively, one might imagine that the complete and rapid engulfment in resin, resulting in almost instantaneous demise, might promote the preservation of DNA in a resin entombed insect, but this appears not to be the case. So, unfortunately, the Jurassic Park scenario must remain in the realms of fiction.”

That said, science is a strange and beautiful thing, so who knows? Maybe in the coming centuries researchers will figure it out. I may be confident that I don’t want dinosaurs to exist alongside humans, but I’m also confident that humanity will never stop trying to clone dinosaurs, at least not until the generation that grew up on Jurassic Park is dead and buried. It’s our Matterhorn.

( via io9)

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