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Author Topic: Extinct Species Resurrected by Cloning  (Read 11068 times)
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« Topic Start: July 01, 2010, 06:50:11 pm »

This is over a year old, so I don't know how we missed this, but scanning the Science and Technology topic, I don't see it posted. I find this f*cking awesome--not in some Jurassic Park way, but for us environmentalists, it raises the prospect of bringing back species we've recently lost (the Ivory-billed Woodpecker or Great Auk, for example).

Extinct ibex is resurrected by cloning
An extinct animal has been brought back to life for the first time after being cloned from frozen tissue.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/4409958/Extinct-ibex-is-resurrected-by-cloning.html

I know some have objections to this, thinking that it will just make humans more reckless about our fellow species ("we can always bring them back!") and that it's pointless without real efforts at habitat preservation/restoration. Valid as those concerns are, I don't think they inherently doom this kind of effort, and the possibility that we could actually undo some of our worst folly thrills me.
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« Reply #1: July 01, 2010, 07:26:38 pm »

Extinct ibex is resurrected by cloning
An extinct animal has been brought back to life for the first time after being cloned from frozen tissue.

And it died in seven minutes.  Don't get me wrong - I love the idea.  (Maybe not dinosaurs, but more recently extinct species.)  But it will be a generation or two before viable young will mature into sexually viable adults able to reproduce.  Meanwhile, their frozen DNA is degrading.  Slowly, to be sure, but each strand will probably, in the end, have to be custom encoded before transfer to an ovum.

Quote
Using techniques similar to those used to clone Dolly the sheep, known as nuclear transfer, the researchers were able to transplant DNA from the tissue into eggs taken from domestic goats to create 439 embryos, of which 57 were implanted into surrogate females.

Just seven of the embryos resulted in pregnancies and only one of the goats finally gave birth to a female bucardo, which died a seven minutes later due to breathing difficulties, perhaps due to flaws in the DNA used to create the clone.

Lots of work to do there.  But it is far from impossible.

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« Reply #2: July 01, 2010, 07:41:19 pm »


Yeeeees. My dream of becoming a roving bandit riding a velociraptor may be closer to realization than previously thought...
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« Reply #3: July 01, 2010, 07:43:40 pm »

Lots of work to do there.  But it is far from impossible.



Without question, a lot of work yet to be done. But I'm also hopeful DNA recovery techniques will improve, so that maybe we could bring back the Great Auk or some other species for which we don't have frozen specimens.
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« Reply #4: July 01, 2010, 07:53:13 pm »

Yeeeees. My dream of becoming a roving bandit riding a velociraptor may be closer to realization than previously thought...

You too?  Although my dream involved a T-Rex instead of a velociraptor.
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« Reply #5: July 01, 2010, 08:03:00 pm »

You too?  Although my dream involved a T-Rex instead of a velociraptor.

T-Rex (t-rexes? t-rexi? "ho shit, there's more than one, run away!!!"?) are harder to feed. Velociraptors can be let loose on some cattle, maybe a couple bull moose, and be good for a bit. What are you gonna feed a T-rex, African elephants? Blue whales?
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« Reply #6: July 01, 2010, 08:05:32 pm »

This is over a year old, so I don't know how we missed this, but scanning the Science and Technology topic, I don't see it posted. I find this f*cking awesome--not in some Jurassic Park way, but for us environmentalists, it raises the prospect of bringing back species we've recently lost (the Ivory-billed Woodpecker or Great Auk, for example).

Extinct ibex is resurrected by cloning
An extinct animal has been brought back to life for the first time after being cloned from frozen tissue.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/4409958/Extinct-ibex-is-resurrected-by-cloning.html

I know some have objections to this, thinking that it will just make humans more reckless about our fellow species ("we can always bring them back!") and that it's pointless without real efforts at habitat preservation/restoration. Valid as those concerns are, I don't think they inherently doom this kind of effort, and the possibility that we could actually undo some of our worst folly thrills me.

While the idea of bringing back extinct animals sounds cool, and personally the dream of world domination via my army of tyranno-tanks is nigh!!!, but thinking about this critically this idea scares the hell out of me. It's the arguement that the scientists in the movie Jurassic Park brought up against Mr. Hammond about his cloning of mesazoic animals and plantlife and bringing them back into an ecosystem that has moved on past them millions of years ago. I mean it sounds cool, but this practice will swing open the door for all kinds of things to come barreling in, since nature can and will find a way to make every good intention a friggin nightmare. I mean the possibilities for a whole new swarm of diseases, and the effects these clone animals will have the ecosystem is staggering. Then there is the giant problem of what species that existed before man will act in regards to us. And with genetic cloning of large scale, complex organisms comes the ever present threat of mutation and what some psycho with ambition and degrees in biological science will create in order to placate whatever god complex they're growing.

Sure, it's a sad day when these animals go extinct by human hands and yes we should do everything in our power to conserve and help rebuild our ecosystems so that species don't go extinct unnessecarily. But many species back in the fossil record went extinct for completely natural reasons, reasons related to things mankind had no control or real significant involvement in. To go back and start tickering with it, because we all know it WILL come to that, well...I pray to any merciful god that is listening that we think before letting hubris blind us to the prehistoric jaws about to snap around our throats.

But those are my personal reasons for my metric forkton of apprehension.
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« Reply #7: July 01, 2010, 08:22:17 pm »

T-Rex (t-rexes? t-rexi? "ho shit, there's more than one, run away!!!"?) are harder to feed. Velociraptors can be let loose on some cattle, maybe a couple bull moose, and be good for a bit. What are you gonna feed a T-rex, African elephants? Blue whales?

No, I just figured I would let it loose in any decent-sized city.  Besides, would a velociraptor be able to carry a fully-grown human on it's back?  It is my understanding that Jurassic Park made them bigger to suit their needs.  Unless I somehow get a whole pack of them and yoke them to a chariot....
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« Reply #8: July 01, 2010, 08:26:32 pm »

No, I just figured I would let it loose in any decent-sized city.  Besides, would a velociraptor be able to carry a fully-grown human on it's back?  It is my understanding that Jurassic Park made them bigger to suit their needs.  Unless I somehow get a whole pack of them and yoke them to a chariot....

Yeah yeah, it's actually Utahraptor that are the size of the movie's velociraptors. Real velociraptors were small enough to drop kick. But Utahraptor was, I think, discovered after the movie was mostly filmed, and velociraptor sounds cooler anyway. Look, it's a fast raptor! Versus look, it's a fast Utahan!
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« Reply #9: July 01, 2010, 08:33:41 pm »

Yeah yeah, it's actually Utahraptor that are the size of the movie's velociraptors. Real velociraptors were small enough to drop kick. But Utahraptor was, I think, discovered after the movie was mostly filmed, and velociraptor sounds cooler anyway. Look, it's a fast raptor! Versus look, it's a fast Utahan!

However, the Utahraptor is too big to be the ones featured in Jurassic Park at about 7 meters in length.  But it works about as good as a T-Rex (both being giant chickens with teeth).
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« Reply #10: July 02, 2010, 03:24:56 am »

Yeeeees. My dream of becoming a roving bandit riding a velociraptor may be closer to realization than previously thought...

Will you eventually join forces with a Doctor who is also a Ninja?
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« Reply #11: July 02, 2010, 07:42:56 am »

While the idea of bringing back extinct animals sounds cool, and personally the dream of world domination via my army of tyranno-tanks is nigh!!!, but thinking about this critically this idea scares the hell out of me. It's the arguement that the scientists in the movie Jurassic Park brought up against Mr. Hammond about his cloning of mesazoic animals and plantlife and bringing them back into an ecosystem that has moved on past them millions of years ago.

It doesn't necessarily scare me in the same sense you're talking about (although that is one fairly worrying possibility), but I definitely have questions about how extinct species would fit into the ecosystem now.  I mean, it's not set up to support them anymore.  Will they even be able to survive in the wild at this point?  Are we really doing these species any favors by resurrecting them, or are we just doing this to assuage our own guilt at having killed them off, or because it would be really cool or something?  What, exactly, is the goal and the point here, and is it actually achievable?

I mean, yeah.  I think it's really neat that it's possible at all.  I'm just questioning the practical application of it.
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« Reply #12: July 02, 2010, 07:55:58 am »

It doesn't necessarily scare me in the same sense you're talking about (although that is one fairly worrying possibility), but I definitely have questions about how extinct species would fit into the ecosystem now.  I mean, it's not set up to support them anymore.  Will they even be able to survive in the wild at this point?

Some probably would do too well, as there might not be any of the natural predators that kept there population in check. Just bringing animals from other parts of the world can show this problem. Long extinct species might be even more likely to have the "take over the niche and drive the natives out" problem. Recently extinct species brought back and reintroduced to their native habitat would be less likely to have such problems.
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« Reply #13: July 02, 2010, 08:14:17 am »

I know some have objections to this, thinking that it will just make humans more reckless about our fellow species ("we can always bring them back!") and that it's pointless without real efforts at habitat preservation/restoration. Valid as those concerns are, I don't think they inherently doom this kind of effort, and the possibility that we could actually undo some of our worst folly thrills me.

In a lot of aspects I am always in favour of scientific breakthroughs but for genetical research.

For me, bringing back to life extinct animals is playing to be God withou having the slightest notion of how things will turn out in 10, 20 or 50 years.  Same goes for genetically altered food (GMO). What might be now a solution to a problem might turn into a much mightier problem in some decades time.

Also, being able to bring back extinct animals can lead to a even more careless atitude from us humans towards Nature.
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« Reply #14: July 02, 2010, 10:49:15 am »

I definitely have questions about how extinct species would fit into the ecosystem now.  I mean, it's not set up to support them anymore.  Will they even be able to survive in the wild at this point?  Are we really doing these species any favors by resurrecting them, or are we just doing this to assuage our own guilt at having killed them off, or because it would be really cool or something?  What, exactly, is the goal and the point here, and is it actually achievable?


The goal is restoration of recently extinct species to habitats where they once thrived, thereby restoring some of the biological diversity of our planet and making for healthier habitats. Hand in hand with that would be habitat restoration and preservation.

As for survival in the wild now, the example of the peregrine falcon is instructive. A few decades ago--within the lifetime of most of the folks in this forum--they were extinct as a breeding species in the eastern U.S. The habitat was fine and dandy, except for the DDT we'd laden it with, which caused peregrine eggshells to thin to the breaking point. We banned DDT, and environmentalists started a captive breeding program to reintroduce peregrines to the wild. (In other words, human intervention "resurrected" the species in this part of the world.)

Peregrines now thrive in the East, esp. here in NYC, which is believed to have the largest urban population of peregrines in the world (16 breeding pairs); I saw one in my neighborhood just 2 weeks ago. And the habitat here is much healthier, as they control the pigeon population, picking off the sickly pigeons for their lunch.

I think your concerns are valid, Star, but far from insurmountable. Not every species can or should be restored, but done right, this a great chance to undo some of the damage we've done.
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