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"Biologists Could Soon Resurrect Extinct Species. But..." Topic

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387 hits since 10 Nov 2015
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2015 12:40 p.m. PST

… Should They?.

"In central Kenya, three of the world's four remaining Northern white rhinos are stubbornly refusing to mate. Since 2009, conservationists have tried and failed to coax the animals together—and with the lone male nearing his 43rd birthday, too old to breed, extinction is inevitable. It's a matter of time before the remaining beasts die off, one by one.

So in the meantime, in San Diego, scientists are working to resurrect them.

At the Scripps Research Institute, regenerative medicine researcher Jeanne Loring has figured out how to make induced pluripotent stem cells, capable of transforming into any cell type in the body, out of rhino skin. She and her team are now working out how to turn them into rhino eggs and sperm. If successful, they should be able to create new rhinos via in vitro fertilization, saving the animal from extinction—or more likely, bringing it back from the dead.

The white rhino isn't the only beast on the verge of resurrection. For species that are already wholly extinct, scientists are turning to massive caches of animal and plant cells stored in deep-freeze repositories like the Cryo Collection, buried in the bowels of the American Museum of Natural History. Others are using a method called anthropogenic hybridization—crossbreeding a dying species with a similar, living one so that some of its characteristics survive…"
Full article here


Zargon Inactive Member10 Nov 2015 1:50 p.m. PST

Tyrannosaurus Rex-Tyrannosaurus Rex-TyrannosauSNAP!
Cheers can't wait and the question if these species do 'come back' from the dead through science ain't they now 'product' sort of like the movie 'Blade Runner' wonderful how close reality runs to fiction these days eh.

charared Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2015 4:44 p.m. PST

Should "they"???


Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2015 6:42 a.m. PST


Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2015 7:26 a.m. PST

Sure. Why not?

RavenscraftCybernetics Inactive Member11 Nov 2015 9:04 a.m. PST

What could possibly go wrong?

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2015 9:46 a.m. PST

What could go wrong?

The errant skin flake of a highly intelligent researcher brings some human DNA to the party. The resulting rhino man realizes mankind is split between those who want to destroy him as a crime-against-nature and those who want to destroy him out of fear. He escapes the lab with just enough equipment to create dozens of brothers and sisters, who, despite being too large to fit in a "smart car" nearly take over the world. Mankind prevails, and ultimately puts the entire clan into suspended animation and sends them off into space in the SS Botany Bay.

So they should totally do it.

Now if we were being serious we would ask about the welfare of the creatures we're considering creating. How would they live? They went extinct for a reason, after all. Are we just creating animals to live in zoos? Or will we set aside habitat for them? What species will we push out of the way so that the white rhino will have space? And are we going to apply this science to the charismatic megafauna only, the cool animals, or are we going to go to the expense for the three-spine stickleback or whatever uninspiring, undistinguished three inch long fish goes extinct next week?

Terrement Inactive Member12 Nov 2015 8:07 a.m. PST

Any DNA left from an honest politician?

(That's humor, not politics)

Personal logo Sue Kes Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member13 Nov 2015 3:44 a.m. PST

Good post, Andrew.

And to quote Ian Malcolm – "your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could [do it] that they didn't stop to think if they should. "

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