Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bringing Back Extinct Species

[caption id="attachment_7676" align="alignright" width="180" caption="Pyrenean ibex "][/caption]

In the article So You’re Extinct? Scientists Have Gleam in
, many issues surrounding the cloning of extinct organisms arose. Some
people question the ethics of bringing extinct creatures back to life. Others
feel as though we should bring back the species that we caused to go extinct.
There may also be unknown consequences of introducing previously extinct
organisms into today’s ecosystems. As of now we have only succeeded in bringing
back the Pyrenean ibex. The baby Pyrenean ibex was only able to survive for a
few minutes, but that is a large step towards reviving an extinct species. If
scientists found the DNA of Wooly mammoths, they could create an embryo and
insert it into a surrogate mother of a similar species such as the elephant.
Another way of bringing back extinct species is to back breed them by breeding organisms that have different strands of DNA from the desired ancestor.  Another related issue is that the revived
extinct species may not behave like did before they went extinct. An article in
Science Daily The Ethics of Resurrecting
Extinct Species
says that
“Many traits are culturally learned. Migration patterns
change when not taught from generation to generation”.

I believe that the ability to bring back extinct species is
a major success in science, but we should be very careful in the ways we use this
ability. Reintroducing ancient species into our current environment can have a
serious impact on existing organisms, especially if the ancient species does
not behave as we expect them to.

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