Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Movie of the Month: Jurassic World




            The newest part of the Jurassic Park film series, Jurassic World, is a box office hit! The film smashed box office records and made a total of $524.1 million in its opening across the globe, making it the highest gross global opening ever! The film touches on the highly debated topic of genetic modification by creating a hybrid breed dinosaur. Is this new monster a theme park success, or a little too much for the park rangers to handle? Find out for yourself, as I highly recommend the new thriller!

            While there is no doubt that the newest addition to the series draws in a large audience, Hofstra sought input from our own professional on campus, Dr. Bret Bennington, Department Chair of Geology, Environment and Sustainability, for some insight on what is and is not possible in the hit film series. Generally, Dr. Bennington notes that the Jurassic Park series is such a hit because the science in the films is quite plausible. The science fiction in this film seems possible, so it gives the audience an idea that these things may be somewhat realistic, and it keeps the audience’s attention at all times. He notes that while the science seems plausible, it actually would be impossible for scientists to save the DNA of even the youngest dinosaur from 65 million years ago and turn it into a genome. Dr. Bennington recognizes that although some of the science was quite plausible, parts of the film were quite outlandish. For example, the pterosaurs grabbing people and carrying them up as the pterosaurs flew was ridiculous because even large pterosaurs are about as heavy as a big duck and would not have the strength to lift a person off the ground. While the film is mostly science fiction, Hofstra asks Dr. Bennington if it may be possible to bring back an extinct species and his answer is quite interesting. He states that there is much talk about de-extincting the wooly mammoth. He points out to us that there is a lot of frozen wooly mammoth tissue as well as a close living relative, the Indian Elephant. Scientists would still have to figure out how to swap the nucleus of an elephant with that of the wooly mammoth, however, it seems that Dr. Bennington does think this is possible. To read the Hofstra News article featuring Dr. Bret Bennington go to http://news.hofstra.edu/2015/06/11/jurassic-world-separating-fact-from-fiction/ and comment back on our post with your own opinions on the science portrayed in the film!

-Stephanie Iaccarino, graduate assistant for the Office of Parent and Family Programs, '15, '17

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