Wednesday, 7 October 2009

A Little Dip in the Gene Pool

There was a show on TV a few nights ago that talked about how some geneticists and paleontologists are looking into the possibility of creating dinosaurs from chickens by turning on genes that have long been dormant. They added a "virus"-covered bead to the beak area of a chicken embryo and ended up with the embryo showing signs of teeth after an incubation period. Then they added another virus and ended up with the chicken growing feathers on its legs instead of scales.

This begs the question - do we really want to play with the gene pool like this and recreate the dinosaurs? Birds are the recent ancestors of dinosaurs, or at least this is the hypothesis. Scientists are now saying that the scales that covered dinosaurs millions of years ago developed into feathers and they developed flight.

Okay, it could be plausible, especially when you see the similarities between some of the smaller dinosaurs and modern birds, but do we really want to recreate the dinosaurs?? Remember the saying "Don't mess with Mother Nature"?

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