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Anyone heard of this watered down real life jurassic park in Siberia?

 
Hoof Arted
11/29/2004 09:36 PM
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Anyone heard of this watered down real life jurassic park in Siberia?
[link to vn.vladnews.ru]

Japanese professor plans Pleistocene Park


Photo by Julian Ryallbr> Russian and Japanese scientists excavate mammoth remains in Siberia earlier this month.

TOKYO - "Jurassic Park" was a work of fiction. Pleistocene Park, a home to revitalized mammoths, may become fact in as little as 20 years.

A joint team of Japanese and Russian scientists arrived in the Siberian province of Yakutia on August 1 to excavate a number of creatures that have been extinct for millennia - including mammoths and woolly rhinoceros.

According to the Russian news agency Interfax, the Japanese scientists, who returned home on August 11, are awaiting an authorization from the Russian authorities to take out of the country the excavated remains. Interfax said the scientists want to use a piece of skin from two-well preserved mammoth legs that they have unearthed in the permafrost. The authorization is expected in September.

They plan to extract DNA from the remains, crossbreed the retrieved nucleus with the creatures´ modern-day counterparts and return the resurrected dinosaurs to a vast "safari park" in northern Siberia.

"It probably sounds a little far-fetched, but it´s absolutely possible to do this," said Professor Akira Iritani, who is coordinating the project from Osaka´s Kinki University.

"It would be no problem having people visit the park, although infrastructure would need to be built, such as accommodation for the tourists, because Siberian winters are extremely severe," he said.

And 72-year-old Iritani knows what he is talking about. In January, he announced that the university´s School of Biology-Oriented Science and Technology, of which he is dean, had transplanted a spinach gene into a pig on order to change the animal´s fat into less fatty linoleic acid. The result is healthier pork products.

The more demanding trick of resurrecting the ancient animals, as he terms them, that roamed the Earth 20,000 years ago lies in finding viable DNA samples.

"The best way to clone one of these animals is to find frozen sperm, but that is very difficult," he says. "Alternatively, a portion of muscle, skin or any piece of tissue can be a good source of viable DNA.

"The most important thing is to find a good carcass. We need to find specimens that were frozen immediately after death and have remained at a temperature of between -25 and -30 degrees C ever since," he said.

And that is what his team was searching the Siberian tundra for. The 10-strong group has travelled to the town of Chokurdakh, close to the East Siberian Sea and more than 500 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, to a site identified last year by local people as having numerous cadavers buried in the permafrost.

The search area was narrowed down to several hundred square meters of tundra and the aim was to recover samples bearing viable DNA from the Siberian tiger, steppe lions, giant deer, ancient foxes and the ancestors of the Siberian horse, as well as mammoths and woolly rhinos.

Iritani has been working in collaboration with a university in Bangkok and as soon as usable mammoth DNA has been identified, an elephant will be artificially inseminated with the nucleus. Each generation of crossbred mammoths will more closely resemble the genetic inheritance of its forefathers as females are impregnated with more DNA from the male mammoth.



By Julian Ryall
Professor Akira Iritani, who coordinates the project, speaks to a reporter before the latest trip to Siberia.

The same process will be used with the other beasts and, in as little as 20 years, Iritani says these long-extinct creatures will once again be roaming the steppe.

"It all depends on getting the good quality tissue, of course, but we will eventually be able to produce many, many animals," he said. "At present the success rate for cloned animals is not so high, but in a few years we will have the technology to repair recovered DNA that has been slightly damaged. We´ll store any damaged DNA that we find and we´re not going to give up this project."

The ultimate aim is the Siberian sanctuary.

"The last time I was over there our Russian counterparts showed us to the place they will provide for us to build Pleistocene Park," Iritani said before the latest trip. "We flew over it in a helicopter and the quality of the grass there seems to be perfect for animals we´re working on."

The reserve will cover an area about twice the size of Britain, he said, and at present the area has no human habitation.

As well as facilities for paying tourists, the park will need to provide shelter for the animals that are returned there, Iritani says, as he believes that Siberia´s elements were far less severe 20,000 years ago than they are now.

Iritani´s search for a frozen mammoth began in 1996 and he is now a leading member of the Mammoth Creation Society, a group based in the southern Japan prefecture of Miyazaki. The group has organized several expeditions in search of carcasses and in the summer of 1999 recovered a section of skin from what they believed at the time was a mammoth.

Their hopes were dashed 12 months later when it was determined that 90 percent of the skin´s DNA sequence matched that of the Indian rhinoceros, although Kazufumi Goto, a professor of reproductive physiology at Kagoshima University and a member of the group, said the discovery was still valuable.

Iritani says one of the reasons behind his quest is to draw attention to the fact that the permafrost is melting, uncovering these creatures in the process, as a result of global warming.

[link to vn.vladnews.ru]

other sources:
[link to www.biomedcentral.com]

[link to archives.cnn.com]

[link to www.faculty.uaf.edu]
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:18 AM
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Re: Anyone heard of this watered down real life jurassic park in Siberia?
Ongoing... South America, Puerto Rico...
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:18 AM
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Re: Anyone heard of this watered down real life jurassic park in Siberia?
wow bump
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:18 AM
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Re: Anyone heard of this watered down real life jurassic park in Siberia?
ac, what do you mean ongoing south american and pr?
Tex Arcana
12/08/2005 10:18 AM
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Re: Anyone heard of this watered down real life jurassic park in Siberia?
More recycled "news". This came out about 3 or 4 years ago and then went into the black hole of public consciousness. He alread had several failed attempts. Or so we were told. There was PBS segment on the helicopter lift of the frozen mammoth by a US team as well.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:18 AM
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Re: Anyone heard of this watered down real life jurassic park in Siberia?
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:18 AM
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Re: Anyone heard of this watered down real life jurassic park in Siberia?
el fundio
12/08/2005 10:18 AM
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Re: Anyone heard of this watered down real life jurassic park in Siberia?
yeah but it would be great to see
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:18 AM
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Re: Anyone heard of this watered down real life jurassic park in Siberia?
This is 100% speculation; but consider this possibility.

The usual conjecture is that Siberia was once located much nearer the equator and had a semi-tropical weather system.

But what if....

The atmosphere was much deeper and thicker and holding cubic miles of water (much more water then compared to now).

This effectively is the same as lowering the pull of gravity. These large animals were bouyed up and effectively weighed less. In fact, everything was bigger and taller.

Then, some cooling of the sun or a change of orbit caused a generalized cooling and the water precipitated out and the air became thiner and lighter. Pressure lowered, animals became effectively heavier and subsequently died out in favor of smaller and lighter weight specimins.

Interesting conjecture?
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:18 AM
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Re: Anyone heard of this watered down real life jurassic park in Siberia?
its possible. it explains why some dinosaurs still live today.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:18 AM
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Re: Anyone heard of this watered down real life jurassic park in Siberia?
now we just need king kong and life would rule for me
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 119015
United States
07/18/2006 06:48 PM
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Re: Anyone heard of this watered down real life jurassic park in Siberia?
bump from the past...cool
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 119015
United States
07/18/2006 06:53 PM
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Re: Anyone heard of this watered down real life jurassic park in Siberia?
updated links:

[link to news.nationalgeographic.com]

[link to www.faculty.uaf.edu]

[link to www.blog.speculist.com]

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