Movie released: 1993 | Set in: 1990s
|Recreation of dinosaurs||low||2030+|
|Revival of extinct animal||high||2015+|
Scenario as thriller vehicle
Tycoon John Hammond is constructing a theme park with real dinosaurs as the main attraction. His scientists have recreated them by extracting DNA from insects preserved in amber, with missing pieces supplemented by modern reptilian DNA.
Dinosaur blood samples probably could be found in ancient insects, and scientists have reported retrieving DNA from a dinosaur bone, as well as insects older than the dinosaurs. However, these claims are controversial, and DNA may be too unstable to last more than tens of thousands of years.
It might in time be possible to reconstruct even highly fragmented DNA, if it is available. Living pseudo-dinosaurs might also be made anew, using genetic engineering techniques that will be developed in coming decades. This would be difficult.
Much more likely is the resurrection of more recently extinct animals via cloning. Tissue samples are available from many late-Pleistocene and modern animals, such as mammoths, mastodons, giant ground sloths, cave bears, and dodos. Whole mammoth carcasses have been found frozen in Siberia and Alaska.
So we have their DNA, and need to overcome two barriers to cloning: the need for living cells, and bringing the clone to term. Kindred animals might be enlisted to mother some ancient animals—elephants might be able to carry baby mammoths, for instance.
Several cloning efforts are underway, and it seems likely that in 5-15 years some extinct animals may reappear. In time, whole “Pleistocene Parks” of formerly extinct creatures may open.