Report: Eccentric Billionaire Hopes to Clone Dinosaurs
August 2, 2012 4:26 AM
(Source: Universal Pictures)
Will dreams of real-life Jurassic Park be realized?
Australian mining mogul Clive Palmer is one of his nation's richest men, holding a fortune of over $8.4B USD and controlling much of the nation's rich mineral supplies. Like many billionaires, Mr. Palmer has occupied himself with odd projects, including the soccer (football) club he owns, Gold Coast United.
I. Billionaire Sets Sights on Reviving the Saurians
But following a 2009 heart attack due to sleep apnea, Mr. Palmer became increasingly eccentric setting his sights on more unusual projects.
The billionaire recent revealed plans to build a replica of the Titanic in China and sail it as a luxury cruise liner in the waters around Australia, as early as 2016. Now he reportedly has taken an interest in cloning
local Australian newspaper
Sunshine Coast Daily
Clive Palmer has already announced plans to resurrect
The RMS Titanic
. He's rumored to be aiming to recreate a dinosaur next. [Image Source: EPA/Dan Peled]
Mr. Palmer has scheduled a press conference for Friday in Brisbane, Australia.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson has already confirmed that Mr. Palmer plans to build a new resort dubbed the "Palmer Resort" in the Middle East, featuring "fly-in, fly-out Muslim hospitality staff." The resort will include a 20-story sky needle and an oversized ferris wheel in the style of the London Eye.
But according to a source who leaked those plans early, Mr. Palmer's wildest dream for the resort is to clone a dinosaur and set it loose in a special exhibit at the resort for his guests to watch. The source claimed to the newspaper that Mr. Palmer has retained the expertise of the
team that cloned Dolly the sheep
to try to make it happen.
II. Plan is Likely Not Feasible With Current Technology
Assuming the report is accurate and not an elaborate joke on the part of Mr. Palmer and his friends, the dinosaur ambitions will prove daunting.
Thus far researchers have discovered soft tissue samples from dinosaur bones, but it is unclear whether DNA -- which is easily destroyed by water-based reactions -- could have survived for millions of years. Back in 1994
[abstract] by microbiologist
Brigham Young University
, who claimed to have found dinosaur DNA in a bone specimen. However, the claim was questioned and has been heavily criticized in discussion since.
The good news for the DNA hunters is that
recent microbiology analyses
[abstract] have revealed that dinosaur cells were very similar to bird cells, hence their genome was likely similar to birds. Why is that good news? Birds have a very "small" genome compared to fellow vertebrates, at around 1.4 billion base pairs, versus just over 3 billion for humans.
Still, recovered DNA sequences from fossilized bugs have been only 250 to 300 base pairs long [
]. Hence you'd still need to conjure up tens, if not hundreds of millions of fragments in order to "finish" a dinosaur.
There's several speculative routes to "resurrecting" the dinosaur, however they all remain highly improbable. [Image Source: The Field Museum]
Such analysis would also be complicated by the possibility of genetic material from bacteria who were oft living inside dinosaurs' bodies and played a crucial role in some forms of fossilization. Bacterial and fungal DNA could be excluded by comparing to map bacterial gene sequences, but this would be a daunting task.
Dr. David L. Stern
professor who wrote 2010's book
Evolution, Development, & the Predictable Genome
an alternative route, suggesting that by comparing modern descendants of dinosaurs (e.g. birds and mammals) scientist could eventually backtrack genetic development to create possible dinosaur genomes.
A final possibility would be to somehow locate a
specimen and use the aforementioned methods to try to speculate/create close genetic relatives. Of course this would require finding a living dinosaur.
And while the discovery of
(Coelocanths) off the coast of Africa have raised hopes of finding something more exotic -- such as a plesiosaur -- experts say such survival stories are increasingly improbable as the size of the creature increases. Hence, whatever wiped out the dinosaurs was less likely successively to wipe out an ancient fish, insect, or fungus.
So how exactly does Mr. Palmer hope to create a dinosaur? Who knows, but he might find more fortune trying to resurrect
a more recently extinct animal
, such as the mammoth, whose
genome is nearing completion
. If he's feeling ambitious, he could always try to clone a sabertooth tiger -- such as
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
Woolly Mammoth Could Walk the Earth Again in 4 Years
January 15, 2011, 6:54 PM
Dolly's Creator Clones Four New Sheep
December 2, 2010, 11:00 AM
Scientists Discover Missing Evolutionary Link -- a Tiny First-gen T-Rex
September 20, 2009, 1:38 PM
First Ever Extinct Animal Cloned
February 2, 2009, 8:08 AM
Latest By Jason Mick
Retiree Sues Apple For $7,500 for Wiping Honeymoon Photos From His iPhone
November 30, 2015, 10:23 AM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
iPhone 7 May Pack 3-4 GB Memory, More Storage; 4-Inch Comeback is Rumored
November 20, 2015, 10:12 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
OnePlus One, OnePlus 2 Will Receive Android Marshmallow in Q1 2016
November 16, 2015, 9:58 AM
Twitter Senior VP: "Diversity is Important, But We Can’t Lower the Bar"
November 9, 2015, 9:59 AM
"Prepare to be Punished": Microsoft is Killing OneDrive With Cuts, Blames Users
November 3, 2015, 8:23 PM
True Beef or Sloppy Sausage? Digging Into the Red Meat + Cancer Correlation
October 27, 2015, 3:05 AM
Lenovo Whoa: Motorola Droid MAXX 2 and Turbo 2 Break Cover in Leaks
October 26, 2015, 3:12 PM
Leak: Apple Preps for First Real Android App Foray With New Apple Music App
October 24, 2015, 1:59 PM
PIQ ROBOTTM reveals its new artificial intelligence software
November 29, 2016, 12:59 AM
One more time - Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone Around the World
November 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Google’s Smart Contact Lens Project gets halted for 2016
November 20, 2016, 7:00 AM
Cell Research Study shows African Americans have greater immune response to infection
November 10, 2016, 1:00 AM
UTHealth Clinical Trial Shows Progress Using Stem Cells to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury
November 8, 2016, 1:00 AM
Uber Partners with Circulation to Pilot Program Connecting Transportation and Digital Health Care
November 6, 2016, 5:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
OnePlus 3T – 5.5” Optic AMOLED and Dash Charging Technology
March 23, 2017, 8:45 AM
Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming G1 – Intel Thunderbolt 3 Certified Motherboard
March 9, 2017, 6:25 AM
Huawei P8 Lite 2017 – Android 7 Nougat Smartphone with Octa-Core Processor
March 8, 2017, 7:03 AM
Lenovo ThinkPad T460 - Ultra-Thin and Feather-light
March 3, 2017, 6:00 AM
Nokia has ditched this camera technology in its new smartphones
March 7, 2017, 8:45 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Android Creator and New Bezel-less Smartphone
Mar 29, 2017, 10:28 AM
More Apps From Google
Mar 28, 2017, 7:15 AM
Are you thinking of performance and speed? Intel claims:
Mar 25, 2017, 7:45 AM
Apple buys an automation app called Workflow. The deal was completed today and brings the app along with its developers.
Mar 23, 2017, 7:35 AM
Apple Announces new color for iPhones and iPads
Mar 22, 2017, 7:45 AM
Instagram: You Can Now Save Live Videos For Later
Mar 21, 2017, 7:49 AM
Samsung Galaxy S8 to Get New Color Scheme
Mar 20, 2017, 7:45 AM
What else to worry about?
Mar 17, 2017, 6:45 AM
Icon of the Day: Intel/ NVIDIA or Mobileye
Mar 16, 2017, 6:15 AM
JUST IN - Twitter Hijacked : High-Profile Account Accesses
Mar 15, 2017, 7:07 AM
Mar 14, 2017, 7:30 AM
News and Tips
Mar 13, 2017, 6:30 AM
iPhone 8 – May Not Get Curved Screen
Mar 11, 2017, 8:00 AM
California paves way to self-driving car tests without humans
Mar 11, 2017, 7:18 AM
Smart Machines V hackers
Mar 10, 2017, 7:00 AM
Uber Can Resume Autonomous Car Testing in California
Mar 9, 2017, 6:50 AM
Mar 8, 2017, 7:09 AM
Mar 7, 2017, 8:45 AM
World news 3-6
Mar 6, 2017, 5:40 AM
Mar 4, 2017, 7:40 AM
Mixed News of the Day
Mar 4, 2017, 6:32 AM
Jaguar Land Rover invests in ride-sharing
Mar 3, 2017, 7:00 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information