Jurassic Park syndrome
n. The belief that extinct animal species can be resurrected via cloning or other genetic techniques.

Example Citation:
The news flash several weeks ago was tantalizing: Australian Museum director Michael Archer announced that the thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger — an exquisite creature presumed extinct for 50 years — could be "kick started" back to life. Archer claimed that cloning techniques could be applied to newly discovered baby tiger specimens that had been pickled in alcohol rather than a formaldehyde solution, which damages genetic material.

In fact, Archer, who has a specimen that dates back to 1866, boasted recently in an interview with the BBC that within 50 years it will be possible to walk out of a pet store with a Tasmanian tiger on a leash.

Web sites at ABC, CBS, and CNN hyped the news to the hilt. "I call this the Jurassic Park syndrome," says Michael Hutchins, director of conservation and science for the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. The movie, which brought velociraptors and a brontosaurus back to life on screen, seems to have inspired a number of assertions that extinct animals really can be cloned including the woolly mammoth, the giant sloth, and the quagga, a partially-striped variety of zebra.
—Vicki Croke, "Reports of tiger's return greatly exaggerated," The Boston Globe, June 21, 1999

Earliest Citation:
Researchers have produced two monkeys with a procedure similar to that used to clone a sheep in Scotland a development expected to help research into AIDS, alcoholism, depression and other illnesses.

The cloning of the rhesus monkey is less dramatic than the cloning of the sheep because primitive embryos were duplicated, rather than adult animals. But it marks the first time the technique has been used to reproduce animals so closely akin to humans. ...

And while the cloning of adult humans is a more distant possibility, the scientists are well aware of the specter they have raised.

''The idea that there is a rich person who is a maverick or an eccentric or worse out on some island is what we call the Jurassic Park syndrome,'' said Russ Meintz, director of the Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology at Oregon State University. ''It's more science fiction than reality.''
—Bob Baum, "International news," The Associated Press, March 2, 1997

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