TBD on Ning

. . . . or at least watched the movie?

"Incredible Technology: How to Bring Extinct Animals Back to Life"



"The passenger pigeon, the dodo and the woolly mammoth are just a few of the species wiped off the Earth by changing environments and human activities."

"Now, advances in biotechnology could enable scientists to bring extinct animals back from the grave. But critics argue the practice would only hinder conservation efforts, by resurrecting creatures that could not survive in the wild."


Read the complete Live Science article at: Bring Back to Life


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Well, looks like the running and screaming really will be starting soon. How do I Dino proof  my house and car? :-)

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Replies to This Discussion

I don't see why you would consider such a life form, so created, as a member of the same species that previously went extinct.  Even if they have genetic material extracted from fossil sources, all these schemes, including the the ones portrayed in Jurassic Park, fill in missing genetic material with synthetic genes or genes from other sources judged as similar.  This doesn't even deal with the problem of trying to get all of the unknown epigenetic settings correct for the species (the chemical modifications of the DNA that control expression of the genes.)  Place the nuclear material for a mammoth in an elephant egg and the egg will turn the genes on/off as if they were elephant genes.  The resulting life form would be like a chimera, composed of different species. You could study such an organism all you want but you might never know for sure if the characteristics that you measure are those of the original species or a product of the hybridization.

I agree and based on what you are saying, scientist could not only, not recreate the original species, but actually create some new and dangerous creature(s). This is why I think this technology should be left alone.

No, I'm not a "Luddite". I just believe science and technology, should be approached, with an once caution.

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When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.

J. Robert Oppenheimer

I find it incredible that anyone who knows anything about evolutionary fitness would say something that implies that an extinct organism was inferior and would not be viable if accidentally (or purposely) released into the environment today.  Fitness is measured against the environment within which an organism finds itself, and no such recreated species would be returned to the conditions of its extinction, (for instance those pesky asteroid collisions.)  Nobody could predict how it would fit in.  It may or may not find what it needs to survive. Most likely it would find itself unchecked by natural population restrictions like so many displaced invasive species today.  It's biggest handicap would likely be the inferior genetic programming it would likely inherit from the trial and error methods of its creators.  But if it could get a foothold in the wild and escape human efforts to eradicate it, natural selection can correct such genetic shortcomings in quick order, maybe even turn them into assets.  As Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) was fond of saying in Jurassic Park, "Life will find a way."

Here's something that I haven't heard discussed in any of these recreation discussions: the microbiome that all all multicellular organisms carry around with them.  It stretches my imagination, but it has been estimated that for every cell in the body that is a legitimate human cell (carrying that persons DNA) there are 10 cells of bacteria, fungi and archaea, etc. also in residence.  Some of these other organisms may be parasitic invaders, but many are actually symbiotic and perform important functions that influence our health and well-being.   These other organisms also evolve (faster than us) and a newly recreated extinct species would find itself in a world without its normal relationships.  Another reason why they would be "different" from before and another unknown hurdle they would have to overcome.

I believe our DNA goes all the way back to the first fish with a spine, and earlier.  I suspect we can recreate just about anything with what we already got.




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