Michio Kaku: Can We Resurrect the Dinosaurs? Neanderthal Man?





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Published on Sep 20, 2012

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Dr. Kaku answers the question of whether it is possible to resurrect the dinosaurs by "turning on" their ancient genes? Moreover, now that we have also sequenced the genes of the Neanderthal man, at some point in the future it may be possible to bring him back. And then of course, if a young Neanderthal boy is born then the question is where do you put the boy, in a zoo or at Harvard?

Michio Kaku: We have taken cells from the carcass of an animal that died decades ago and brought them back to life and so it is possible using today's technology to take bodies, carcasses of animals that died decades ago and resurrect them in the form of clones.  Now we have also sequenced the genes of the Neanderthal man, meaning that at some point in the future it may be possible to bring back the Neanderthal man.  In fact, at Harvard University one professor even made a proposal as to how much it would cost to reassemble the genome of the Neanderthal man. And then of course, if a young Neanderthal boy is born then the question is where do you put the boy, in a zoo or at Harvard?
This is a question that we're going to be facing in the coming decades because it is possible that we might be able to bring back the mammoths.  We're talking about creatures that walked the surface of the earth tens of thousands of years ago and we have their genome and it's a serious proposal now that we're closing in on sequencing all the genes of a mammoth to bring the mammoth - by inserting a fertilized egg inside the womb of an elephant and having an elephant give birth to a mammoth.
Now dinosaurs are much more difficult.  They perished 65 million years ago, not tens of thousands of years ago.  However, something has happened that I thought would not happen in my lifetime and that is we have soft tissue from the dinosaurs.  I never thought it would be possible in my lifetime.  If you take a hadrosaur and crack open the thigh bones, bingo.  You find soft tissue right there in the bone marrow.  Who would have thought?  T-Rex's too and scientists have analyzed not the DNA, but the proteins inside the soft tissue.  Not surprisingly, we find the proteins of chickens and also frogs and reptiles, which means of course that dinosaurs we can now show biochemically are very closely related to birds.  In fact, we think birds are dinosaurs that survived the cataclysm of 65 million years ago.
Now there is another proposal to use what is called epigenetics.  Nature does not simply throw away good genes.  Nature simply turns them off.  For example, we have the genes in our own body that would put hair all over our body and you can actually turn that gene and create, quote, unquote, a werewolf.  In fact, in Mexico City there are two young boys with hair all over their bodies that are acrobats in a circus and scientists have sequenced the genes and yes, it is a very ancient gene that they have.
With chickens we can actually see the genes for chickens that were turned off because of epigenetics, genes that give webbing between the toes of a chicken because a long time ago chickens had webbed feet and also teeth.  You can actually bring back teeth inside chickens.  So then the question is, is it possible to make the next big leap to use epigenetics, to use gene therapy, to use all the different kinds of therapies we have, mix all these things up in the memory of a computer and have the computer give the best fit for a reptile that is like a dinosaur, insert that perhaps, into the womb of maybe an alligator or a whatever and perhaps give birth to an egg, which will hatch something resembling a dinosaur.
Well that's not possible today, but it's not out of the question.  It's not out of the question that at some point in the future we'll use a computer to take all these bits of DNA from living lizards, from the—extracting information from the proteins of soft tissue from hadrosaurs and assemble the best mathematical approximation to a dinosaur and have it give birth to an egg.

Directed / Produced by Elizabeth Rodd and Jonathan Fowler

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Comments • 3,647

Team ­­Burgers
What I want to see happen in my lifetime: 1: Jurassic Park 2: Chappie 3: Interstellar
View all 61 replies
Tutorial Channel
I want to witness Master Chief save the world from filthy alien.
Kunal Kashyap
Team ­­Burgers fuck chappie
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They already brought back the neanderthal.  It's called 90% of the worlds ignorant population.
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That was the shittiest thing I've read and yet you are trying to insult the intelligence of others, pretty ironic.
+Kristy X You are correct, good sir or madam.
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Hamza H Green - Slay Your Dragon
T-Rex? Neanderthals? Screw that, bring back Sir Isaac Newton!
View all 30 replies
baldy hardnut
Or Einstein lol
Hehe xD Hehe xD Hehe xD
Also environment has a lot to do with who you become as a person and growing up with a bunch of scientists will surely make you end up becoming one. Especially with Newton's IQ
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Ted Joseph
Jeesh.. I can't wait to see IPhone video of someone getting eaten by a dinosaur at a dinosaur zoo in Disney World..
View all 7 replies
Nlmb .j
Ted Joseph don't you mean *Jurassic World? 😏
Jaem Maddog
Ted Joseph ill pay to see that
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He pisses me off when he tells me about all the things that may be possible one day far beyond my lifetime. Stop doing that.
View all 8 replies
Monster Youngii
thats the fact tho
LimitIsIllusion I thought mammoths would be back in 6 years or something
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I think the most intelligent answer to this question was uttered by Jeff Goldblum in "Jurassic Park":  "Just because scientists COULD recreate dinosaurs, they never stopped to think if they SHOULD."  As his character also said, dinosaurs were marked for extinction — they flourished in their time, then other life forms took their place, like mankind.  Perhaps Steven Spielberg had it right the first time.
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harry jangles imagine if that dinosaur was secretly made like a indominus Rex and if it could resist toxic lol
Professor Gunk We've been here longer than a few thousand years.
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Elias Housseini
i like this man 👍👍👍 it's a waste that he was born in the planet
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+AllySuckBlack is back He's wrong because it's not standard English.
AllySuckBlack is back
+Emperor Botz Most likely by sheer fluke, Elias is actually correct for we exist within earth's matter and not over and above it.
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M. Ashanti
After the Jurassic and Trassic Period, the entire atmosphere changed. I doubt it would even be breathable for dinosaurs. They can't roam freely in modern day. The only option is to spend ridiculous amounts of money to make them into a caged side show. What service are we doing them? They're dead for a reason.
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Jellal 10
what about an artificial atmosphere dome?
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i cannot imagine why we aren't reviving species from the past just for science sake! think of the awesome zoos we would have?
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Abel Ramirez
matereymate I get what you mean, but I think it would be quite wrong to put a human species in a zoo.
+GlamMetalSucks Since you edited your comment I don't know how to respond to this, it seems abundantly obvious to me what the answer to this is. Clearly that is not so, a human with down syndrome is actually sapient. I don't use sapience as the direct Latin translation as being wise because in that case I would be saying put the majority of all humans in zoos.
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arcana ten
Congratulations to all the people who commented below on the best way to kill a T Rex! The thing hasn't even been resurrected yet, after 65 Million years in oblivion, and all you want to do as soon as it makes its first tender steps into a new existence, is blow its head off?!!!!
View all 16 replies
wellm we can find out if it tastes like chicken
Florian Floppy
+Sam Littlefield Sorry mate, but we don't know that for sure, i bet dinosaurs were far more inteligent than animals of today, more we discover about dinosaurs more we learn that they had multiple ways to live, which is a good thing when you look at it, for example what makes us inteligent or at least shows that we are, it is the way our people can do things differently, for example a butcher can cut off some meat, and a baker can cook some bread, which myself would not be able to do. this is what inteligence is really about, the fact that a specy or a group of species, can live together and do things than individuals can't. Dinosaurs seem to work the same as us, not as a specy, but as a group of species, which in a way it shows their inteligence, and we only know few of them, thanks to fossiles. So we can't say or predict that they were dumb as birds, and why would they be, because they lived a far more time away ? They lived more time than all of us, or any other animals (not includes reptiles such as crocodiles), time does not make you more inteligent. So to me Dinosaurs were really smart, and if they would not have died, today i bet they would rule the world and be an inteligent race.
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