With every new Jurassic Park film, you cannot help but wonder why the park creators never seem to learn how risky it is to treat velociraptors like petting zoo goats.
No matter how many dodgy lawyers become T-Rex snacks, or how many grouchy babysitters are snatched away by pterodactyls, there’s always one strangely optimistic individual who thinks this time things will be just peachy.
Of course, the Jurassic Park franchise is fiction, and so we can all leave the cinema assured real-life scientists may be a tad more cautious about resurrecting a bunch of giant, hungry pre-historic lizards.
Or would they?
According to The Siberian Times, scientists from Russia’s Northern-Eastern Federal University – alongside the South Korean SOOAM Biotech Research Foundation – are putting forward a highly unusual proposal.
Based in the Siberian city of Yakutsk, the paleo-genetic scientific centre wants to bring back long extinct species such as woolly mammoths, woolly rhinoceroses, cave lions and ancient horses. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
This terrifyingly brilliant breakthrough is still a while away, but scientists appear confident in regards to their ambitions becoming a reality.
Indeed, plans are already in existence which would involve a $5.9 million lab with permafrost, where scientists wiould work on samples from various long-dead species. No doubt there’s also a cartoon demonstration at the ready, starring Mr. D.N.A.
The research centre is ideally situated for researching extinct animals, with around 80 per cent of unique Pleistocene and Holocene animal samples – complete with preserved soft tissues – discovered within the area.
In this week alone, scientists announced the discovery of a perfectly preserved 40,000-year-old foal in the Yakutia region. Back in 2017, scientists discovered two perfectly preserved cave lion cubs dating back over 12,000 years.
Expert Dr Lena Grigorieva said:
There is no such unique material anywhere else in the world.
We study not only Pleistocene animals, another line is the study of the history of settlement of the North-East of Russia,
Northern ethnic groups have a unique ancient genetic structure.
Such studies will help in the study of rare genetic diseases, their diagnosis, prevention.
Have we learned nothing? pic.twitter.com/IKRP4Fhkp2
— locomotivelimbs (@ilikefatfannys) August 30, 2018
The last i checked there are what??? 4 movies that show you why you shouldn't do that…..
— Amber Roberts (@Amber2676) August 30, 2018
We've seen the movie; it doesn't work out well for humans.
— Tony Connors (@RealTonyConnors) August 30, 2018
Meanwhile, some people have expressed reasonable concerns about the ethical implications of this research.
One person commented:
If they succeed, can you imagine what kind of life for these animals? They won’t be in the wild. They’ll be caged. They will be sought after and killed or stolen.
They’re gone. Leave them that way. It will be of no service to them to bring them back.
I wonder if we will ever find intact Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA in the frozen tundra?
Then there will be the ethical dilemma, but I do predict that somebody will try to bring back human ancestor species.
I wonder if we will ever find intact Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA in the frozen tundra? Then there will be the ethical dillema, but I do predict that somebody will try to bring back human ancestor species.
— David Lee Fisher (@etheralwizard) August 30, 2018
So, what do you think? Is this an exciting sign of scientific progression, or just a recipe for disaster?
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.