• Question: Would it be possibl that people would make machines that can turn fossils into dinosaurs?

    Asked by purplebee2002 to Angela, Gabriele, Karen, Maria, Shane on 15 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Karen McCarthy

      Karen McCarthy answered on 15 Nov 2013:

      Haha that sounds like a film plot!

      Unfortunately it probably wouldn’t work – living things require DNA to encode their bodies and cellular processes – breathing, eating, sleeping etc. DNA on fossils is too damaged after so many millions of years, that it would be unlikely to function again. Even the fossils themselves would probably be too old and brittle after being buried the dirt for so long!

      Nice idea though!

    • Photo: Shane Mc Guinness

      Shane Mc Guinness answered on 19 Nov 2013:

      Good question Purplebee.
      It’s unlikely, as DNA doesn’t last that long no matter how you preserve it. It was thought that if we found an insect that had bitten a dinosaur and sucked its blood, then got buried in the ground and preserved somehow, that we could bring them back using cloning. But it probably wouldn’t work. If we had a common ancestor of dinosaurs; something very close to them, we could try inserting genes into their cells, but it would take many many years to get something to work.
      Did you know that wooly mammoth DNA is currently being inserted into some elephant DNA to try and bring them back!? Again, it probably will never work, but would be pretty cool!

      Very unlikely for dinosaurs I’m afraid. Who knows in the future though!