While it's not possible to clone dinosaurs directly (due to lack of DNA material), the science apparently reached the level when it becomes, theoretically, possible to "reinvent" dinosaurs anew by controlling mutations of chicken embryo DNA. Do you think it's a good idea? Personally, I would totally love to visit a real life Jurassic park. But it's not likely to happen any time soon.
Link is no longer available.http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150512 ... f-dinosaur
They found that birds have a unique cluster of genes related to facial development, which the non-beaked creatures lacked.
When they silenced these genes, the beak structure reverted back to its ancestral state. So too did the palatal bone in the roof of the mouth.
To make this genetic tweak, Bhullar and his colleagues isolated the proteins that would have gone on to develop beaks. Then they suppressed them using tiny beads coated with an inhibiting substance.
When their skeletons started to develop inside the eggs, these animals had short, rounded bones instead of elongated, fused beaks that bird skeletons have.
"By affecting this early protein you are actually altering gene expression," added Bhullar.
The work highlights that beaks develop very differently from snouts, using a different set of genes, says Michael Benton of Bristol University in the UK. "That's what proves the beak is a real adaptation or 'thing', not just a slightly different nose shape."
The shift from snouts to beaks happened well into the evolution of birds, 40-50 million years after Archaeopteryx, says Benton.
For now Bhullar has no plans, or ethical approval, to hatch the snouted chickens. But he believes they would have been able to survive "just fine".
"These weren't drastic modifications," says Bhullar. "They are far less weird than many breeds of chicken developed by chicken hobbyists and breeders."
"The rest of the animal looked OK, but one needs to think about this carefully from an ethical point of view."
Quite disappointing as they aborted the dino-bird hybrid.