Recently, a pregnant Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil was excavated. The scientists retrieved a DNA sample from the soft tissue of this fossil, which is 68 million years old. Then, the researchers from North Carolina managed to recreate the first dinosaur embryo.
According to the experts, the DNA of the pregnant Tyrannosaurus Rex was preserved in marvelous conditions. They used the DNA and inserted it into chicken skin cells. In fact, chickens are the modern relatives of this dinosaur.
The head researchers explained the connection between chickens and Tyrannosaurus Rex. Even though, we believe that T-Rexes are enormous bipedal reptiles that look like crocodiles, they are the closest relatives to birds and they are even equivalent to today’s chickens.
Even the scientists were amazed by the DNA’s similarities between the chicken and the T-Rex.
The chicken-dinosaur hybrid
The molecular biologists from North Carolina gave an explanation about the chicken-dinosaur hybrid. They said that the created embryo is not completely a dinosaur. It is a genetically modified hybrid of a T-Rex and a chicken.
Actually, it is not possible to create a 100% dinosaur, because the DNA samples that are available are very limited. However, the combination of the T-Rex’s DNA with the skin cells of the chicken made it possible to create the embryo. The scientists hope that the embryo will survive till birth and will have no defects. If this happens, the scientists don’t know what to expect. Their research till now has shown that the hybrid embryo grows in rates that are abnormal when compared with a normal chicken embryo. After only 3 days, the embryo was more than 60 times bigger than an average embryo of a chicken. The scientists remain enthusiastic.
The ethical side of the research
Even though most scientists were extremely excited about the discovery, some believe that the experiment is dangerous and unethical.
These scientists mention the negative effects of GMO products on human DNA. They believe that is not normal to create such an enormous creature in this manner. They believe that this created species may cross breed with normal chicken and change the DNA of the chickens. The same happens between old plants and modern plants, where the result is GMO plants.
A similar experiment was also done in Harvard, where mammoth genes from hair, subcutaneous fat and small ears were inserted into skin cells of an elephant.