Scientists reverse evolution with snouted chicken
Scientists have rewound 65 million years of evolutionary history by tweaking chicken DNA to create embryos that grow alligator-like snouts rather than beaks.
Chickens and other birds are thought to have descended from dinosaurs through a series of genetic changes.
But by altering the DNA of chicken embryos in the early stages of their development, scientists are able to undo the progress made by evolution and give them qualities they lost millions of years ago.
Ethical regulations prevent the eggs from being hatched but Arhat Abzhanov, an evolutionary biologist based at Harvard University in America, said he hopes to one day to complete his work by turning chickens into Maniraptora, small dinosaurs believed to have spawned 10,000 species of birds.
The ability to rewind evolution also raises the prospect of fast-forwarding the same process to create species which are designed to adapt to Earth’s changing climate, and eliminating birth defects in human children, it was claimed.