In the movie Jurassic Park (1993), a businessman and a team of genetic scientists create a wildlife park of dinosaurs. The students of the option “Science in English” tried to find out if it would be possible to do this for real.
What are the steps to recreate dinosaurs according to Jurassic Park?To recreate a dinosaur according to Jurassic Park we need to find an amber (fossilized tree sap) with a mosquito inside, then to extract dinosaur blood from the mosquito. Then we should extract dinosaur DNA from the blood. Because it is very old, the DNA has gaps in it, so we need to fill the gap in the dinosaur DNA using a frog DNA. In the end, we put the dinosaur DNA in an ostrich egg, to get a baby dinosaur.
Salma and Mariam (2C)
Is it possible to find dinosaur blood in a fossilized mosquito?We know that mosquitoes bite alligators today, so we suppose that the mosquitoes could bite dinosaurs in the past. Technically it is possible, but we need to find a female mosquito in amber, because male mosquitoes do not bite. We learned to distinguish female and male mosquitoes by looking at them under a binocular loupe. In the movie Jurassic park, we see scientists take blood from a male mosquito, so that is impossible!
Elena (2C) and Annaëlle (2A)
The mosquito shown in Jurassic Park is clearly a male (visible from his antennea)
Is there DNA in dinosaur blood?We don’t have any dinosaur blood, but we know that dinosaurs and birds are related. We made an experiment to see if we can find DNA in bird blood. We looked at bird blood under a microscope, and we saw nuclei (colored in purple) in the red blood cells of the birds. We know there is DNA in nuclei, so there is DNA in bird blood. Therefore, we think that there is DNA in dinosaur blood.
Maud and Arwa (2A)
Red blood cells of birds contain nuclei (colored in purple)
Is it possible to extract DNA from 65 million years old dinosaur blood?First of all, we tried to extract DNA from a banana (because we don’t have dinosaur blood!): we mashed banana pieces to break their tissues, then we poured washing liquid mixed with water to break the cells. Finally, with ethanol we extracted DNA. After one week, there was already less DNA in the one week old banana juice. Some research proved that DNA is unreadable after 1.5 million years because it breaks into small pieces. Yet, the youngest dinosaur fossil is 65 million years old.
So no, we can’t extract DNA from 65 million years old dinosaur blood, because it’s way too old.
Lina and Steven (2C)