How to Build a Dinosaur: Extinction Doesn't Have to be Forever

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Penguin, 2009 - Science - 246 pages
A world-renowned paleontologist takes readers all over the globe to reveal a new science that trumps science fiction: how humans can re-create a dinosaur.

In movies, in novels, in comic strips, and on television, we’ve all seen dinosaurs—or at least somebody’s educated guess of what they would look like. But what if it were possible to build, or grow, a real dinosaur, without finding ancient DNA? Jack Horner, the scientist who advised Steven Spielberg on Jurassic Park, and a pioneer in bringing paleontology into the twenty-first century, teams up with the editor of The New York Times,/I>’s Science Times section to reveal exactly what’s in store.

In the 1980s, Horner began using CAT scans to look inside fossilized dinosaur eggs, and he and his colleagues have been delving deeper ever since. At North Carolina State University, Mary Schweitzer has extracted fossil molecules—proteins that survived 68 million years—from a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil excavated by Horner. These proteins show that T. rex and the modern chicken are kissing cousins. At McGill University, Hans Larsson is manipulating a chicken embryo to awaken the dinosaur within: starting by growing a tail and eventually prompting it to grow the forelimbs of a dinosaur. All of this is happening without changing a single gene.

This incredible research is leading to discoveries and applications so profound they’re scary in the power they confer on humanity. How to Build a Dinosauris a tour of the hot rocky deserts and air-conditioned laboratories at the forefront of this scientific revolution.
 

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HOW TO BUILD A DINOSAUR: Extinction Doesn't Have to Be Forever

User Review  - Kirkus

Brash, world-renowned paleontologist confesses that if he had his druthers, he'd "Bring ‘em Back Alive."Horner (Paleontology/Montana State Univ.) wants to introduce readers to "evo devo," a jazzy ... Read full review

How to Build a Dinosaur: Extinction Doesn't Have to Be Forever

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Traditionally, the discovery of dinosaur fossils has been accomplished through fieldwork with follow-up study back at a lab. But over the past 20 years, this paleontological approach has begun to ... Read full review

Contents

HELL GREEK
1
WAG THE BIRO
6
A PREGNANCY TEST FOR T MX
57
MOLECULES ARE FOSSILS
85
OINOSAURS AMONG
114
WHERE BABIES COME FROM
133
THE SHRINKING BACKBONE
165
REVERSE EVOLUTION
183
BIBLIOGRAPHY
219
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Jack Horner is regents professor of paleontology at Montana State University, curator of paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, and probably the best-known paleontologist in the world. The recipient of a MacArthur ¬“genius¬” award, he is the author of several books on dinosaurs, has helped create several documentaries, and does field work in Montana and Mongolia.

James Gorman is deputy science editor of The New York Times and editor of its Science Times section. He is the author of several books, including two previous books with Horner.

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