From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1993:
The premise of the hit film Jurassic Park is that
scientists might some day clone dinosaurs from bits of their
DNA, containing their genetic codes, which may be found
in the bellies of blood-sucking insects whose remains are
preserved in amber. Considered far-fetched by many, that
scenario moved closer to reality in June when a team of
California-based researchers reported in Nature that they
had extracted recognizable DNA segments from a weevil
who became caught in tree resin 120 to 135 million years
ago. The resin harrdened into amber, and was eventually
excavated near Jezzine, Lebanon. Paleontologist Jack
Horner of Montana State University topped that June 30,
announcing that his graduate assistant Mary Schweitzer had
discovered apparent blood cells in the deep interior of a
tyrannosaur bone, where the thickness of the bone protected
them from fossilization and decay. Horner’s team is now
trying to extract DNA from the blood cells.
The University of Buenos Aires College of Exact
and Natural Science agreed on April 19 to allow students to
opt out of vivisection and dissection without penalty, the
Asociacion para la Defensa de los Derechos del Animal
announced recently. “The College of Pharmacy and
Biochemistry is almost ready to sign a similar resolution if
we can provide the alternatives,” ADDA secretary Elsa
Beatriz Maturana told ANIMAL PEOPLE.
The Shanghai Nuclear Institute claims sheets of
pig skin zapped with radiation show no signs of rejection
when grafted to human burn victims, an apparent major
breakthrough in burn treatment. More advanced U.S.
research has focused on growing new skin from human cell
cultures. This process is similarly successful, in the labora-
tory, and cruelty-free––but also slow and costly.
The Primate Research Centre and Wildlife
Preserve in Barbados is not a sanctuary, but rather a mon-
key breeding facility for Connaught Laboratories. About
8,000 monkeys from the facility have been sold to research
laboratories during the past 12 years.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 28 that sci-
entific testimony cannot be excluded from courtrooms sim-
ply because it involves controversial theories, but agreed 7-
2 that judges must actively review such testimony, throwing
out whatever seems ill-founded and unproven. The ruling
reopened Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals, in
which the plaintiffs contend that animal testing shows the
drug Benedectin, taken during pregnancy, caused their two
children to be born with missing and shortened limbs,
despite a lack of human epidemiological evidence that this
could be the case.