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Deborah Huerta
Head Emeritus
Cooley Science Library
Colgate University
Should Dinosaurs Be Cloned from Ancient DNA? 

Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, as a novel and then a blockbuster movie, reawakened the public's fascination with dinosaurs. Although dinosaurs have always been popular, Spielberg's sophisticated cinema computer graphics thrilled human imagination with a wistful longing to see these great life forms. What if we could actually bring them back to life? Technological advances in molecular biology technology in the future might allow us to extract ancient DNA from fossilized dinosaur remains. Could we amplify it, replicate it, and implant it in a host such as an ostrich egg? This tantalizing fantasy has become increasingly closer to reality with recent successful efforts to clone mammals. How close are we to creating Jurassic Park? This case allows students to work cooperatively and explore the scientific, technical, environmental, and ethical issues related to raising "T-rex and Company" from the dead.