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The new Jurassic World movie is just science fiction … right?

Answer: Yes, the dinosaurs are just science fiction … but genetically modified insects are not.

Green DNA graphic glows over dark background.
The Jurassic Park cinematic universe — including the original Jurassic Park trilogy and the subsequent Jurassic World trilogy, with the third film released a week ago — features fictional dinosaurs created through genetic splicing. Often interpreted as a cautionary tale for the ethical questions that emerge from rapid scientific and technological advances, creating living dinosaurs remains science fiction, for now.

However, a plot line explored in the June 2022 film, Jurassic World: Dominion, is more science than fiction. Without giving any spoilers, the film involves genetically modified locusts that pose a threat to society.

In an interview with The Guardian, actress Laura Dern said that director Colin Trevorrow would send her stories about real cases of genetic engineering — like the genetically modified mosquitoes that were released in Florida to help fight disease.

While gene editing makes its way into the mainstream, there are no signs of genetic engineering to create dinosaurs at this time.

“Jurassic Park is an everyday story now!” Dern told The Guardian. “Other than a T-rex walking down the street.”