Speaking from the prestigious TED Conference in Long Beach Wednesday, Sausalito activist Stewart Brand said scientists are developing the ability to reassemble an extinct animal’s genome, and even recreate the animal itself.
Brand, who gained fame after he campaigned to have the original NASA space photos of earth published, and subsequently created the Whole Earth Catalog, said Wednesday that “de-extinction” could be used to help restore organisms and habitats damaged human activity, according to a report in the Marin Independent Journal.
A team of Harvard geneticists are currently working to bring back the passenger pigeon, which has been extinct since 1914, according to the TED website. The passenger pigeon is considered a keystone species because it aided the survival of the buffalo, according to TED. Researchers believe it may now be possible to alter the genetic makeup of a close relative, the band-tailed pigeon, to re-engineer the passenger pigeon.
The Jurassic Park-like science was already used to recreate an extinct variety of wild mountain goat in 2010, but the animal died after just minutes due to a lung defect, reports TED.
But the critical question to ask is: Do we want extinct species back? Are we humans taking technology to its limits, and interfering unnecessarily in nature? Well, as Brand says, it’s our job to fix what we’ve already broken. In the past 10,000 years, we’ve made a huge hole in nature. It’s our fault that some of these crucial species have been completely wiped out, so we should dedicate our energy to bringing them back. Source: TED.com
Turning into Gods - teaser
Not all wonders are natural; many are devised by man’s ingenuity, many by the craft of demons."
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