“All major theme parks have delays. When they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked!”
“Yeah, but, John, if The Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.” — Jurassic Park
When I first read the headline, I thought it was from a satire website. And while BBC’s position as a mainstream news source doesn’t make it seem any less comical sometimes for all the propaganda it pushes, the headline wasn’t fake.
Chicken Grows Face of Dinosaur
The story starts out by talking about the demise of the dinosaurs and their similarity to birds. Then —
To understand how one changed into another, a team has been tampering with the molecular processes that make up a beak in chickens.
By doing so, they have managed to create a chicken embryo with a dinosaur-like snout and palate, similar to that of small feathered dinosaurs like Velociraptor…
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.
It’s like none of these people have ever seen the movie Jurassic Park.
Just last month, scientists were taking DNA samples from a Woolly Mammoth leg for a cloning project.
Hey, doesn’t everybody want something?
Gee, there are lots of things I think would be neat. For example, it might be pretty cool to see a rainbow pegasus or have a conversation with John Lennon even if he was a clone, but if I could… if I had all the genetic pieces to make science fiction a science reality… does that necessarily mean I should?
With Godlike power comes Godlike responsibility. “As it was in the days of Noah,” my mom would say.
Reminds me of another Jurassic Park quote:
“Um, I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here, it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now [bangs on the table] you’re selling it, you wanna sell it. Well…”
“I don’t think you’re giving us our due credit. Our scientists have done things which nobody’s ever done before…”
“Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
But now they are. Sure, the velociraptor-faced-chick-making scientists claim they have no plans to go ahead and hatch these chicks… for now…
And the BBC quoted Bhullar as saying his creations would’ve survived “just fine.”
Oh, and as my Facebook friend Daniel LeBlanc said, “If this is what the scientists are willing to admit publicly, imagine the menagerie of terrors they’re creating in secret.”
So next time you hear a news story about ravenous packs of predatory, mutant chicken velociraptor hybrids roaming the countryside in death squads, or an escaped Woolly Mammoth was spotted running down Main Street in your town, just realize it actually isn’t your imagination or a bad sci-fi film but real life courtesy of scientists who either have never watched Jurassic Park or simply can’t appreciate irony.
Life… finds a way…