Jurassic World: Dominion Bashes Biotech

if a file planet of the apes or Jurassic Park The movie comes out, I’m going to watch it. Last, Jurassic World: Dominiondid not disappoint.

locust plague

The science is mostly accurate, the bioethics message is clear, and the plot adheres to Isaac Asimov’s “change one thing” rule of science fiction. in World Jurassic Park, that only variable is time. We just have to accept that a “titanosaur” like Argentinosaurus somehow grew and evolved from a lab-bred baby to a 130-foot-tall, 110-ton baby in just a few years.

The official synopsis from IMDb for the new movie is ambiguous and continues the topic of impossible rapid growth:

Four years after the destruction of the Isla Nublar, dinosaurs now live – and hunt – side by side with humans around the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and will determine, once and for all, whether humans will remain the main predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures in a new era.

four years? Animals radiate around the world? Even rats or rabbits can’t do that. And the movie is actually about insects.

Evil Synbio has left hordes of genetically modified locusts, each the size of a shoebox. They only eat crops that have not been grown with the company’s pesticides. (Old story, the first genetically modified corn was grown in 1996.) Giant, fast-breeding locusts are expected to destroy the nation’s crops by the end of summer.

Senbio’s upper floors look innocent: a “clearing house” to rehabilitate the impoverished reptiles that roam the planet after they exploded in the last movie. The beasts are then sent to a wildlife resettlement center in Pennsylvania or to a facility in the Dolomites in Italy for some research and development activity. Synbio bought the company behind Jurassic Park in the 1990s and is now focused on rescuing 20 major species.

But there are other parts to the company.

The Habitat and Development Lab contains “untouched genomes of rare species”. Underground lies Synbio’s top-secret project, the “hexapod”. Six legs.

The company is located near deposits of amber that provided proto-dinosaur DNA in the 1990s in preserved mosquitoes, this time the genetic material of locusts. The amber mine is very similar to Howe Caverns, near where I live in upstate New York.

Of course other people have dinos, too. The Sawridge Cattle Company in western Nevada, for example, is now an “illegal breeding facility.” Cute baby Triceratops are stuffed into cages like those at county fairs that house pigs.

Bring clones

Locusts and Dinosaurs is the backdrop to the human drama about 14-year-old Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), granddaughter of Sir Benjamin Lockwood. He was the business partner of John Hammond, both of whom were primarily responsible for modern dinosaurs.

It turns out that Maisie is a clone. Her mother, Charlotte (Elva Trail), wanted to have a baby, so why not just clone herself? The 23 pairs of human chromosomes on a computer screen advertise her as a geneticist, although I’m a geneticist too and never feel the need to remind myself of that number, which isn’t helpful for anything.

Young Maisie is precocious, gorgeous and for unexplained reasons, with an English accent. Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), from the latter movie, adopt her and live in the woods to protect her from kidnappers.

A few dinosaurs live near their house, and Maisie befriends an adorable mother and her baby, Blue and Betta. They originated from dinosaur DNA mixed with the DNA of a monitor lizard, such as the patched frog DNA in the original dinosaur genomes of Jurassic Park. “We need a little predator to understand you. They are genetically identical, like you and Charlotte. Charlotte, like Blue, was able to have a baby on her own,” said one of the kidnappers, because Macy also grew up without the contribution of sperm.

But why would anyone want to kidnap Macy? Why is it “the most valuable intellectual property on the planet”?

Gene therapy and editing to the rescue

When Maisie was a little girl, surprising her mother Charlotte despite having chromosomes on her screen, she suddenly had an undiagnosed and undiagnosed genetic disease, although genetic disease is rare among young people and adults. Oops! She has cloned a child with a mysterious mutation!

do not worry. Charlotte whipped up some viral DNA to deliver working genes, something that has been done in gene therapy since the first trials, in 1990, by accident when Michael Crichton published Jurassic Park. At the time, we could only add genes in gene therapy. But now, thanks to gene-editing technologies like CRISPR, we can also remove bad genes.

Presumably, such a genetic exchange is what Charlotte did to give birth to Maisie. Whatever she did, we know the important part is that she made the change in “every single cell” of her little one’s body, which is hard to imagine. There are several letters that say “each single cell” so we know it’s correct, although with current technology, this is not possible. A person’s gene therapy targets specific types of cells that are involved in the disease.

However, Charlotte ditched the bad genes from her child, Maisie here, and she holds the secret to how pathologist Henry Wong (BD Wong from Law and orderThe world can be riddled with locusts: applying the same technology that Charlotte used to link genetic change into all trillions of her daughter’s cells.

“You changed every cell in your body,” recalls Wu Maisi. “If I can figure out how to do it, I can change the entire swarm before it’s too late. Your DNA can change the world! If I can, I can fix a terrible mistake I made,” he said wistfully, referring to the bioengineering of the giant locust.

Large-scale change that wipes out species, even if local, is already possible using a technology called gene drive. I explain it here. It’s not a very good idea.

a Jurassic Park 30 reunion

The locust problem is so deep that the ancient characters of the origin Jurassic Park, circa 1993, come on board. They reenact some old banter and flirtation, almost literally.

Ellie Sattler from Laura Dern squinting and bulging in the eye. She’s the ancient botanist who got her hands on Dino-Doo in the opening movie. She helpfully identified locusts as a species that died out during the Cretaceous period (145 to 66 million years ago).

Palaeontologist Alan Grant (Sam Neill) remains furious, while prudent mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum, also of the fly Fame) is still plagued by cliches: “The Ethics of Genetic Power”, “We Must Trust in Humanity”, “Unexpected Consequences” And what makes no sense? “We must transform human consciousness.” He works for the evil company – or so it seems. Synbio’s work, he says, will treat autoimmune diseases, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Ian invited Eli and Alan to visit Senpio. Upon her arrival, Ian hands her a key to the locust lab.

They have aged significantly, and their hair and skin are remarkably great. This contrasts with the “change one thing” mantra of fast-growing dinosaurs. Non-aging people.

Many boring chase scenes ensue, the most interesting of which are the locust barbecue scenes. The main characters spend about 45 minutes running around the Synbio facility to steal a DNA sample. It’s not clear exactly why they’d do this, because they can easily get DNA from Maisie, surrounded by insects, presumably messing with DNA all over the place.

As the film continues, more stalking scenes occur, in response to the numerous “asset containment violations”. The most exciting is the duel between two fierce dinosaurs: “Two predators in one place!” Cheers Ellie. Oh!

In another scene, as terrifying Claire looks out into a forest, a giant dinosaur swallowing a deer like my husband eats potato chips from Trader Joe’s.

Our friends, after many near-death experiences, save the day. Surviving humans escape while dinosaurs burn. Later not named, Dr. Wu waves a magic wand and the locust problem is solved.

Borrowing from other movies

The plot loosely holds together. What kept me awake, once I learned about the novelty of dinosaurs (yes, they do have feathers), were scenes borrowed from movies and other TV shows.

Owen spies a pterodactyl body on the wing of a Star Wars-like plane Millennium_Falcon, echoing the Nightmare at 20,000 Feet Twilight Zone episode in which William Shatner (aka Captain Kirk) spies a monster on an airplane wing.

“Why do we have to be snakes?Indiana Jones said after she fell into a chasm full of beasts. “No one said there would be mistakes!” It is the new version.

She rescues Claire from the Millennium Falcon and conjures up the winged monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. Later, small dinosaurs emerged from the bushes as spies along the yellow brick road.

Claire and Owen sneak into a locust lab in white suits that look just like the sperm strewn across everything you ever wanted to know about sex in Woody Allen.

For no apparent reason, there’s a reenactment of the cantina scene from Star Wars, complete with locusts running barbecue spit, gambling, and drinking.

As absurd as it may be to populate a planet with mature, full-grown dinosaurs in a fraction of the time, I’ll be back for the next part of jurassic world. In the meantime, I’d like to know how well Elle, Alan and Ian have aged.

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