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RE: dinosaur cloning

Since FTL communication has been proven (& reproved AND reproved) on paired
(or quantumly bonded)
particles, the door is now at least theoretically open for time travel.  And
I'm not (entirely) joking here.
I am working on a RAM (random accress memory) device that will communicate
at 0.95 c (or nearly the speed of light) right now.  The day may come when
we don't need to extract bits of fossilized DNA;
we can simply GO there & collect the eggs (or whatever) directly.  

But, don't sell geneticists short: the method used to clone Dolly (the
sheep) was considered a very long shot.  It "shouldn't" have worked, because
the cells were already encoded adult cells.  Nevertheless,
finding enough intact dinosaur DNA is the main problem.  

I'm getting up there in years, but volunteered 20 years ago as a potential
test subject with the
American Theoretical Physics Foundation for time travel (when we accomplish
it).  Destinations
(in time) HAVE been discussed many times & I (& a few others) throw in the
Jurassic, Cretaceous 
EVERY time.  Sounds like science fiction?  Well, every scientific
breakthrough does until we succeed.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ralph Miller III [SMTP:gbabcock@best.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 1998 12:26 PM
> To:   MGibb21521@aol.com; dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject:      Re: dinosaur cloning
> Chandler Gibbons MGibb21521@aol.com writes:
> > Would it be possible to clone a dinosaur by using Loh's method?  That
> is,
> > grinding up large quantities of dinosaur bone to get SOME of the DNA
> sequence,
> > then fill in the gaps with avian, reptilian, or amphibian DNA?
> No.  Even if you could retrieve DNA from Cretaceous fossils (which is
> uncertain at this time, as DNA probably is degraded and altered over
> time),
> how could you make sense of fragments of DNA without a blueprint?  How
> would you know what order to put the DNA material into?  How would you
> know
> what was missing?  How would you know what DNA from extant animals could
> be
> used to replace the unknown components?  The use of frog DNA in _Jurassic
> Park_ seems especially foolish, as frogs are so derived (evolved) from a
> tetrapod ancestor of dinosaurs.  Crocs and birds at least are archosaurs,
> but what pieces of which species would be required to fill in which blanks
> in the sequence for which species of dinosaur?  An individual animal's
> genetic information is very complex, with about a billion properly ordered
> bases, which must be arranged on the correct number of chromosomes, and
> with the correct proteins present, and most of the genetic material of a
> modern plant or animal is just so much ancestral baggage, not visibly
> expressed in an individual's physical body.  The genes must be turned "on"
> or "off" as required, stimulated by the proper hormones.  Good luck!
>   Would it be
> > possible to use the method explained in Jurassic Park, where they take
> ancient
> > DNA from a blood-sucking insect incased in amber?
> Would that it were so simple.  (In other words, no).  You cannot simply
> take a hypodermic needle and extract the DNA nor even the liquid blood
> from
> the body of a blood-sucking insect in amber.  Whereas the amber fossils
> are
> very unusual in preserving the actual original body of an animal without
> any permineralization (without replacing the body with rock), the
> resulting
> preserved remains are dried up, something like an Egyptian mummy.  The
> best
> one could do to get blood material from the abdomen of such a specimen
> would be to spritz the interior with a liquid, swish it around, and then
> remove the liquid.  The result would not be the same as fresh blood, and
> so
> far as I know no one has succeeded in retrieving any dinosaur DNA in this
> manner.  DNA was reportedly extracted from the wing muscle of a Cretaceous
> bee in an amber fossil, but other scientists were unable to replicate
> (repeat) the success of the original experiment, so the results of the
> initial experiment have been challenged.  There are many problems, not the
> least of which is the potential for contamination.
>   What other means could one
> > get dinosaur DNA?  Is there any?
> Mary Higby Schweitzer has studied what may be organic material in the
> blood
> vessel channel within the bone marrow inside the bones of _Tyrannosaurus
> rex_, as well as the feather-like fibers on _Mononychus_ (or is it
> _Shuvuuia_?).  While I am not aware of complete genomes being retrieved
> from these specimens ;^), Schweitzer's preliminary work suggests the
> possibility that some original proteins may survive to this day. 
> Schweitzer does not expect to revive extinct dinosaurs, but she hopes that
> her studies may some day help us to better understand the phylogenetic
> relationships between dinosaurs and other animals.  This research may also
> give us insight into the evolution of beaks, feathers, and so forth.
> Schweitzer's paper, _Molecular Paleontology: Rationale and Techniques for
> the Study of Ancient Biomolocules_, from Farlow and Brett-Surman's _The
> Complete Dinosaur_ covers the above subject (and also provides a host of
> references for further study).  There is a book, which I believe is called
> _The Science of Jurassic Park_, that also covers this subject in some
> detail.  Nova had an enjoyable program entitled "The Real Jurassic Park"
> which ran through the logistical problems of producing and maintaining a
> population of dinosaurs.  In this program, Robert Bakker proffers a
> different science fiction scenario for bringing back the dinosaurs:
> turning
> on and off the genes of living birds (referring to the experiment which
> produced tooth enamel in a modern bird).  It would take a serious
> Frankenstein/Dr. Moreau to pull it off, but who knows?
> Also, there are apparently scientists hoping to recover sperm from frozen
> mammoths for insertion into the eggs of modern elephants in order to
> produce hybrids which could over many years of selective breeding produce
> a
> living mammoth.
> I should point out, of course, that most paleontologists do not expect to
> see living dinosaurs any time soon, excepting the avian ones (birds) and
> those two dimensional impostors which show up in movies from time to time
> (as in _JP_).
> -- Ralph Miller III     gbabcock@best.com