Can cloning bring extinct species back to life?

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see a dinosaur in the wild? According to the minds behind TEDxDeExtinction, this may happen sooner than we think. The conference, hosted by National Geographic, will feature researchers hoping to erase the boundaries between science and science fiction. These scientists believe that in ten years cloning technology will be ready to bring extinct species back to life.

Wolly Mammoth Clone

According to some scientists, this could soon be a reality.

This is not the first time geneticists have explored the possibility of resurrecting lost species. In fact, in 2009 scientists managed to clone an extinct Pyrenean ibex after the last living individual was killed by a falling tree. The animal, born to a surrogate mother goat, died after seven minutes. Even so, the cloning of the Pyrenean ibex serves as proof that given the right circumstances, extinct species can be brought back to life.

This is the goal of the Revive & Restore project, a group dedicated to promoting research and public discourse on cloning. The group has launched an initiative to revive the passenger pigeon, a North American bird driven to extinction in 1914. Passenger pigeons lived primarily on the East Coast, migrating in flocks sometimes millions of birds large. Once considered an integral part of North American ecosystems, overhunting and the destruction of its habitat devastated the bird during the latter half of the nineteenth century. The successful cloning of the passenger pigeon would mark a milestone in technology and our understanding of the processes of life.

Dolly Sheep Clone

Dolly the sheep, who in 1996 became the first animal to be successfully born via cloning.

I’m honestly not sure what to think about this. While cloning extinct species is certainly an amazing achievement, that does not mean it is a good idea. North American environments have had a century to adjust to the passenger pigeon’s disappearance—reintroducing them would shock ecosystems throughout the country. More concerning, though, are the ethical ramifications involved. What are the appropriate boundaries of cloning? What will be the side effects of resurrecting lost creatures? Maybe I’ve watched a few too many science fiction movies, but something about this seems dangerous to me. Do you guys have similar reactions to cloning? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

So what do you think about cloning? Is reviving extinct species a good idea? Am I just paranoid? Let me know in the comments section below! As always, please like, share, or reblog this post if you enjoy it. Be sure to check me out on Twitter and Facebook as well. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for new content every Wednesday!

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Other related articles:

14 extinct animals that could be resurrected (mother nature network)

Endangered Or Extinct Animals Won’t Be Saved By Cloning (Smithsonian)

Siberian Discovery Could Bring Scientists Closer to Cloning Wolly Mammoth (Time)

The Road to the Multiverse

Five Mind-Blowing Secrets of Outer Space

 

Comment question of the week

Is reviving extinct species a good idea?

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