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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Is De-Extinction possible? Maybe.

extinct species may be revived by using cell cloning technology

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, March 25, 2013/Categories: natural history, environment

Extinction was supposed to be forever. However, like a plot from a SCiFi thriller it may be possible.

If successful, new research in Australia, using frozen tissue from an endemic, strange, and currently extinct frog, may now open the door to resurrecting other extinct creatures. The first species that could be resurrected could be the
gastric-brooding frog which went extinct during the 1980's. In what is being called the "Lazarus Project", the strange frog may rise from the dead using cell cloning technology. This odd amphibian evolved to nurture tadpoles in the stomach of the female which released them fully developed into a river. The Queensland frog probably went extinct due to a deadly fungus that has attacked amphibians worldwide.


Gastric-brooding Frog (credit: Adelphi University)


More extinct species could follow if the Australian cloning technology succeeds. Efforts are underway elsewhere to isolate DNA from the dodo (a large flightless pigeon); Siberian wooly mammoths, the
quagga  (a South African antelope), Australia's thylacine wolf, and several others. There is even an organization organized to support the biotechnology research to accomplish these goals called Revive & Restore

Questions will arise if this is a good or not idea but as humans were likely the major causal agent in their extinction, it seems an exciting project to restore species at a time when we're contributing to the extinction of so many others. The restoration of wolves to Yellowstone National Park, eliminated in the 19th Century, as the apex predator in that ecosystem pushed many other animals and plants way out of ecological balance. The dodo was likely the key agent for tree species on the island of Mauritius as the forests were dependent on them as seed dispersal agents of forest regeneration.

A commentary on the new field was presented by Stewart Brand on the Conservation Perspective on 'De-extinction' and a TEDx video on De-Extinction explored all these issues:


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