The premise of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park and the Steven Spielberg movie that it spawned (along with its sequel, The Lost World) is simple enough. Scientists extract dinosaur DNA remnants lingering in the stomachs of insects entombed in amber for millions of years, reconstitute them into complete copies of dinosaur DNA, and then "grow" dinosaurs inside the lab. It sounds intuitively plausible--if far-fetched--but could it really work? In this fascinating book, Rob DeSalle and David Lindley explain in detail how scientists might attempt this painstaking task and the challenges they would face. In the process, they provide a running tutorial on the techniques of genetic engineering and play spoilsport to the occasional sloppy science of the Crichton and Spielberg works. The result is thoroughly entertaining yet simultaneously enlightening.
From Library Journal
The best science fiction must be consistent with science fact. With the blockbuster status of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park and its sequel, The Lost World (LJ 9/15/95), it is fair to ask, Could dinosaurs really be cloned from ancient DNA? DeSalle, an associate curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and Lindley, an associate editor of Science News, do not have a definitive answer, but they do explore how it might possibly be done. The authors take a critical approach, questioning every premise and exposing presumptions. Copious references to events and characters in Crichton's books make familiarity with them a prerequisite. George and Roberta Poinar's Quest for Life in Amber (LJ 9/14/94) would be a better choice for anybody who hasn't read the book or seen the movie. Still, this book will benefit greatly from the tie-in to the forthcoming release of the film version of The Lost World and will be in demand at public libraries.?Gregg Sapp, Univ. of Miami Lib.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.