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Australia Biotech

Australian Billionaire Wants To Build Jurassic Park-Style Resort 409

lukehopewell1 writes "Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has already floated a plan to rebuild the Titanic to scale and sail it around the world, but now the mining magnate has found a new use for his money: cloning dinosaurs. Palmer reportedly wants to clone a dinosaur and let it loose in one of his resorts in Queensland, Australia. The billionaire has already been in touch with the scientists who helped clone Dolly the sheep to see what it would take to clone a dinosaur from DNA."
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Australian Billionaire Wants To Build Jurassic Park-Style Resort

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  • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:21AM (#40838989)
    Crichton was trying to make a point with his Jurassic Park novels. It was a cautionary tale about "the law of unintended consequences".
  • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Informative)

    by niftydude ( 1745144 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:24AM (#40839013)
    Don't hold your breath. Clive Palmer has a long history of shooting his mouth off about grandiose schemes, then not following through with any action.
  • by rjames13 ( 1178191 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:24AM (#40839015)

    Colourful mining billionaire Clive Palmer may have a costly penchant for resurrecting remnants of the past, but he has no intentions of extending that to long-extinct reptiles, sources say.

    The Sunshine Coast Daily reported on rumours that the mining magnate plans to clone a dinosaur from DNA, so it could roam free through a Jurassic Park-style area at his Coolum golf resort.

    It was reported Mr Palmer had been in deep discussion with the people who successfully cloned Dolly the sheep.

    But a source close to Mr Palmer rubbished the suggestion today.

    "It's absolutely ridiculous," the source said.

    However, Mr Palmer is expected to reveal highly-anticipated redevelopment plans for his luxury Coolum resort on Friday. []

  • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lotana ( 842533 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @03:11AM (#40839329)

    I have read several of his books and came to the conclusion that either he is really afraid of all science and technology or just writing his books targeting the audience that are. Every single book came down to: "See? SEE?! This is why you fucking scientists shouldn't do anything remotely exprimental!!!"

  • by metrix007 ( 200091 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @03:12AM (#40839333)

    Not as cute as all the nerds "in the know" scoffing at the graphical interface in the movie, despite it being the graphical interface used by IRIX (yes, it's a UNIX) at the time.

  • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @03:16AM (#40839371) Homepage Journal

    I think it's pretty well accepted at this point. Early birds and feathered ground-dwelling dromeosaurs are anatomically almost identical. Obviously there's no way to be sure without DNA, but we're probably about as sure that aves is a subset of dinosauria as we are of anything in paleontology. (IANAP, terms and conditions may apply, see your local paleontologist for details.)

  • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Informative)

    by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @03:49AM (#40839527)

    Not in the least. Read the forewords and author's notes as well and you'll see a very different point of view: science for PROFIT is extremely risky.

    His concern isn't science for the sake of knowledge, but the inherent dangers of doing science for the sake of money. That become science done in secret rather than open, science that cuts corners to save costs, science that is applied for dubious rather than nobel goals.

    He loves genetic engineering and it's possibility to improve lives for example, but as he shows in "Next" - he despises the idea of "gene patents".

    The problem with Jurassic Park wasn't that it was science, but that it was consumerist-driven.

  • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @03:50AM (#40839541)

    Using nothing more than signal chemicals (something like growth hormones) applied at the right spot during the right moment of embryo growth, it's possible to make chickens grow teeth. A different substance applied at the base of the spine during early embryo formation gets you a chicken with a long, dinosaur-like tail. You can do something similar to the wings too, unbending them in a way that makes them more like handclaws.

    This is without any genetic modification at all. The data to revert a chicken to something with dinosaurlike claws, teeth and tail all still exists in the standard modern chicken genome. There's nowhere near enough data preserved in chickens to reverse what evolution has done to them over tens of millions of years, but there is a lot more preserved than you might expect.

    Look up Jack Horner's "chickenosaurus" concept for the details. His book has info on the experimental background to the idea.

  • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Informative)

    by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @05:33AM (#40839969)

    Nice comeback - though I obviously meant to type "noble".

    That said - most people miss the point of the Nobel prize, I just hope most scientists don't. Alfred Nobel made his money from an invention called dynamite. While it later found use as a weapon of war, that wasn't the purpose of his creation. Dynamite is derived from the Latin for "alive" - and it was created to SAVE rather than TAKE lives. Specifically dynamite was invented for mining purposes - the most common mining explosive prior to that was nitro-glycerine, dynamite is MUCH safer to work with and it saved millions of lives by reducing explosion-accidents in mining.
    Nobel firmly believed that science and knowledge are the greatest tools to advance a peaceful world with happier and longer-living people. His prize was intended to encourage scientists to do just that- produce knowledge for the good of mankind. This is also why the only NON-science prize is the peace prize. There is no Nobel-prize for business or economics (no really there isn't - the so-called Nobel-prize for economics was created much later by a bunch of Swiss bankers and has no affiliation with the fund Nobel left or the committee who awards the prizes from that fund).

    Nobel was a humanitarian. The irony is that the very life-saving invention that convinced him of science's great potential for humanity was also just a few decades later such a major part in racking up the body counts in the world wars. Nobel would not have been pleased...

  • Re:Awesome! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @05:35AM (#40839985) Journal

    It's been pointed out the problems in Jurassic Park are not Man's Arrrogance in playing God but rather lousy zookeeping and corruption and sabotage.

  • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @06:36AM (#40840269)

    If it's any consolation, velociraptors were not that big [] and looked rather ridiculous []

  • Re:Awesome! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Christopher Fritz ( 1550669 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @07:32AM (#40840533)

    For those who, like I, were curious, here is an article about chicken with teeth:

    Mutant Chicken Grows Alligatorlike Teeth [].

    Some interesting lines:

    ... Matthew Harris of the University of Wisconsin noticed that the beak of a mutant chicken embryo he was examining had fallen off. Upon closer examination of the snubbed beak, he found tiny bumps and protuberances along its edge that looked like teeth--alligator teeth to be specific.

    The mutant chickens Harris studied bear a recessive trait dubbed talpid. This trait is lethal, meaning that such mutants are never born, but some incubate in eggs as long as 18 days.

    ... a chicken's underlying ability to grow teeth derives from a common ancestor with alligators--archosaurs--that is more recent than the one linking birds and mammals. Nevertheless, the underlying genetic mechanism that produces teeth in mice, alligators and mutant chickens remains the same.

    Exactly how the mutation causes the chickens to sprout teeth is unknown, Fallon notes, but a similar effect can be produced in normal chickens. Harris proved this by engineering a virus to mimic the molecular signals of the mutation and caused normal chickens to briefly develop teeth that were then reabsorbed into the beak.

  • Re:Awesome! (Score:3, Informative)

    by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @09:29AM (#40841475)

    >But that isn't gonna pay any bills, let you go on a great vacation trip, nor get you laid.....

    Knowlege creates all the means by which bills can be paid, and indeed the ability to create bills in the first place. Knowledge lets you know where to go on vacation, why you may want to go there, and why it's good to take vacations. And knowledge of sex is the difference between bad and good lovers - good lovers most certainly DO get laid more often.

    Your point exactly ?

  • by Darth Snowshoe ( 1434515 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @11:17AM (#40842803)

    Space science is another such endeavor. It's been used as rationalization for some of the most ridiculously overpriced infrastructure (the International Space Station) ever built. Even the unmanned space programs have devolved into building new overpriced widgets rather than actual space science.

    New Horizons - first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.
    Kepler - (at least) tripled the number of known exoplanets.
    Messenger - first artificial satellite of Mercury.
    Cassini/Heugens - first spacecraft orbiting Saturn and its moons. Discovered methane lakes on Titan. Discovered cryovolcanoes on Enceladus. First landing on Titan. [...]
    Dawn - first close-up images of major asteroids (Ceres, Vesta). First demonstration of ion thrusters in space.
    Radiation Belt Storm Probes - understanding the (critical to life on earth) Van Allen radiation belt.
    Solar Probe Plus - closest man-made object to the Sun.

    It's a pernicious myth that the unmanned space program is not producing new and significant results. I really don't understand why it keeps recurring on this website, amazingly. Is it a myth born out of abject ignorance? (If so, go RTF NASA websites.) Or is it an article of faith of people of a specific political bent, absolutely unsubstantiated by facts or actual knowledge of space science?

  • Re:Awesome! (Score:4, Informative)

    by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @11:57AM (#40843313)

    >No, it's because no one is willing to spend their own money for this "infinite value" good

    I am. The day my government STOPS allocating a share of my taxes to university subsidies and research grants is the day I will revolt against taxes, same goes for welfare programs.
    I owe my success to two things - hard work, and privilege. I had privilege. And privilege is a debt, debts must be paid. Welfare isn't TAKEN from me, it's paying my debt - by taking some of the results of my privilege and using it to provide privilege to those who don't have it. A debt that is paid forward. Paying Forward: still the single best idea Benjamin Franklin ever had.
    In short: speak for yourself.

    >That gives us a good idea of the level of bullshit you're spreading here. If science truly were of infinite value to us, then we would all without exclusion devote all of our collective efforts to scientific discovery and knowledge. It isn't so we don't.

    That's argument by pushing to the absurd - a fallacy. And the reasoning is flawed. Just because something has infinite value, doesn't mean it's the ONLY thing that does, or that it's value is interchangeable with all that does - or more importantly all that is neccesities.
    Knowledge however is what all other value is built on, and it's usually not POSSIBLE to predict which knowledge will be most valueable ahead of time - any more than it's possible to predict which starving artist is creating paintings that will, after his death, sell for millions.
    We can't tell the Van Gogh from the idiots until a century later- what makes you think we can truly evaluate the value of any other knowledge ?

    Knowledge lets us create value, it increases the availability and reduces neccesity of all other things - that is important, but it doesn't do so instantly, hence we need to devote some, perhaps most, resources to other needs - but the idea that we should only pursue such research as we can see a profitable cause for is ... er... stupid.

    Why then do we fund astronomy ? Anything beyond the engineering needed to plant satelites have ZERO profitable returns for the foreseable future. Why do we fund (most) biology ? What monetary value is there in knowing that Elephants are related to Mannatees ?
    And why is it that the second largest scientific breakthroughs of the entire 20th century was made by it's LEAST capitalist nation ?

    Clearly science exists JUST as well in socialism as in capitalism - just as long as the science itself is allowed to NOT be capitalist.
    If you do research for profit, then there is value in secrecy - and secrecy is the OPPOSITE of the value of science.

Where it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat. -- Christopher Morley