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Conservation, Science

Return from the Dead: of Mammoths, Tasmanian tigers and dinosaurs

Tasmanian Tiger [via wikipedia]

Remember my post here about the practice of hunting what may soon be endangered species?

Well, one blogger disagrees. He suggests that if the species become extinct, maybe we can  bring them back using advanced cloning techniques(i.e. by say the Roslin technique)? I’m not a biologist 😐 and I don’t know anywhere near enough about cloning as I probably should do, although I’ve heard of the above technique that entails use of a ‘dormant cell’ to attempt to recreate an organism. But isn’t it necessary to have the living animal, or at least access to such dominant cells, in a sample tissue of the animal? Also, if an animal was extinct tens or hundreds of years ago, is it still possible to replicate their DNA from samples of dead tissue, and use it to create lifeforms with DNA that sufficiently  mirror the characteristics of the real animal? And at what point in this process does Bioethics come in?

Since I’ve never heard of a cloned dinosaur, tasmanian tiger, dodo or mammoth, I think maybe we would be best served by preserving the elephant population that we have alive today, than place our hopes on a technique that some advocates claim can bring back the dead.



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