PALEONTOLOGIST JACK HORNER ON WHOM THE "JURASSIC PARK" CHARACTER WAS BASED IS MAKING WAVES IN THE FIELD AND

ON "60 MINUTES" SUNDAY If you saw "Jurassic Park," you've already met Jack Horner -- sort of. That's because he was the inspiration for the film's main character, paleontologist Alan Grant, and he worked as a consultant on all three films. To find out what Horner is like in real life, Lesley Stahl met him at a dig site in the Badlands of Montana and reports on how the famed dinosaur hunter is shaking up the paleontology world like a rampaging T. Rex -- claiming to have found organic material from dinosaurs that has survived for tens of millions of years. Her story will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES, Sunday Nov. 15 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The Montana-based fossil sleuth who, together with his team, has found more T. Rex specimens than anyone else, is on a mission. "I want to know everything, everything we can know about [dinosaurs] and make one if we can," he tells Stahl. His quest to "make one" harkens back to the Jurassic Park story he consulted on years ago, in which the discovery of dinosaur DNA led to the cloning of living, breathing dinosaurs that eventually run amuck. Horner isn't trying to clone a dinosaur, but his unorthodox method of breaking open dinosaur bones to study what's inside has led to a controversial new discovery that's ignited a firestorm in paleontological circles. It started in 2000, when a member of Horner's team named Bob came upon a Tyrannosaurus Rex foot bone by accident while eating his lunch. Horner named the T. Rex B. Rex (after Bob), and began digging it out of the side of the 50-foot cliff where it had been preserved for 68 million years. But the site was so remote that the bones had to be lifted out by helicopter and B.Rex's thigh bones were too heavy, so Horner had to cut one of them in two. He sent the bone fragments that fell from the break to a collaborator at North Carolina State University, Mary Schweitzer, who studies the internal makeup of ancient bone. What Schweitzer discovered inside B-Rex's bones may have changed paleontology forever. For starters, she figured out that B-Rex was a girl -- and pregnant. It was also the oldest T. Rex on record. But even more amazing was what happened next. Schweitzer put a piece of B. Rex's bone in acid to dissolve away the outer layer of mineral, but she left it in too long and all the mineral dissolved. Ancient fossils no longer have organic material, so there should have been nothing left. But there before her eyes was something stretchy and elastic that looked like soft tissue and blood vessels -- what she would have expected to find in modern bone, but should have been long gone in a 68 million-year-old dinosaur fossil. Real blood vessels from an animal that lived 68 million years ago? Schweitzer couldn't believe it and repeated the experiment several times. She even replicated it later on in an older, 80 million -yr.-old-duck-billed dinosaur. "It's so consistent, over and over and over again. We do this bone and it comes out and I get excited every time," she says. "I can't help it. I mean, 80 million years old!" Watch an excerpt. She and Horner published their findings and were criticized; some said the soft tissue was more likely just a bacterial slime called biofilm, or that her samples had become contaminated somehow. Most scientists believe organic material can't survive even a million years, let alone 68 or 80 million. Even Horner is skeptical about ever finding intact DNA in such material, but he is

looking, even for DNA fragments. His teams at digs are wearing gloves now to prevent potential contamination of any DNA that might still exist in the fossils. But Horner has another possible route to "building" a dinosaur: reverse evolution. It's widely accepted that birds are modern dinosaurs and therefore contain some of the DNA from their ancient ancestors. Horner plans on making a "dino-chicken" by switching genes on and off during the embryonic development of a chicken to restore more dinosaur-like features, like a long tail, three-fingered claws, and teeth. "As the chicken embryo develops, it does develop a fairly long tail before a gene kicks in and destroys it," he tells Stahl. "We theoretically can get a chicken to hatch out with a relatively long tailÉ I think we we'll be able to make a dino chicken within the next five years."

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