Is Jurassic Park for Real?

You have probably heard of the movie Jurassic Park. It shows a tropical island with real Triceratops munching on plants, and all too real velociraptors hunting other dinosaurs. But the dinosaur zoo runs into trouble, and feeding time becomes very dangerous for some of the people.

Could this really happen? Millions of years ago, so the Jurassic Park story goes, a mosquito had dinosaur blood for dinner. Then the pesky insect landed on a tree where it got caught in sticky resin. Over time the resin hardened into amber, and preserved the mosquito and its meal.

Henry Wu, the scientist working for Jurassic Park, carefully removes the dinosaur blood from the mosquito’s stomach. In the blood he finds cells, and in the cells he finds DNA–the chemical code in every living thing. If it belonged to a Triceratops, it might say what color it was, and how long its horns grew. From this DNA, Dr. Wu makes a baby dinosaur which hatches out of an egg.

Did you notice how quickly I told the last part of the story? Scientists do not know how to make a creature starting just from DNA. Although each cell in the dinosaur body has the same DNA code, each cell is different. Blood cells are not the same as skin cells, for example.

God designed dinosaurs to work very well, and that means they were very complicated. One day, scientists might be able to make real dinosaurs. For now, it is just a scary story.


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