A delightful, plain-English scientific discussion about new technology that may bring us closer to understanding dinosaurs. Horner walks us through a complex discussion about DNA, bio-ethics and evolution with a peak into the science of today that could bring a 'dinosaur' into the lab.
The book is so well-done that even CBS' "60 Minutes" featured it on a recent broadcast regarding the concepts of bio-technology. In addition to the science discussed, the book (and broadcast) take us to the field and shows changes in paleo work as a result of these new theories about tissue recovery from mineral-hardened fossil bone.
Horner notes that DNA fiction produced the "Jurassic Park" books and movies, but is quick to add the new bio-science may get us closer to an evolutionay breakthrough which could show a great deal about dinosaur development (and extinction) while helping medical science.
This is a great read for any one who collects fossils, studies evolution and/or wonders out-loud about science on the cutting edge.
Publishers Weekly, 2009-01-26 The premise of this provocative but frustrating book by MacArthur Award-winning paleontologist Horner and New York Times deputy science editor Gorman (coauthors of Digging Dinosaurs) : a kind of reverse genetic engineering could make it possible to " build" a dinosaur embryo from the embryo of a modern bird-a chicken, say- since birds are the evolutionary descendants of dinosaurs. The trick would involve the new science of evolutionary development (known as evo devo) and a host of biological techniques. Horner and Gorman argue that during the process, one could stop and analyze every frame of the evolutionary tape as it played in reverse. The authors use the research on tail development of Hans Larsson at McGill University to explore how embryos can illuminate evolution. Much of the rest of the book offers background, but often digresses, for example, into hunting for DNA from 68-million-year-old dinosaur bones or the surfing habit of the man who discovered the polymerase chain reaction or how genetically close humans and Neanderthals are-none of which advances the book's central argument. B&w illus. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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