Bring Back Extinct Animals! Sort of.

Resurrect extinct mammals? You bet, says Beth Shapiro, an expert in ancient DNA and a biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Mostly.

How long before de-extinction is a reality?

The answer depends on what you're willing to accept as "de-extinction." If you mean a pigeon born with some passenger pigeon traits, or an elephant born with mammoth-like traits, it could happen within a few years to a decade. Longer for mammoths, for the reasons Iíve already mentioned and because elephants have a two-year gestation period. If you mean 100-percent mammoth, with all mammoth genes and behaviors, that will never happen...

Because there are so many steps along the way to de-extinction, there is no particular species that is an ideal candidate for being brought back to life. The best choice would be an animal that could not only inspire people to be interested in science and technology but that also would have a net positive impact on the environment. In my mind, the mammoth is a great choice for both of these reasons.

Problematically, mammoth de-extinction would necessarily involve working with and manipulating female elephants. We would need elephant eggs, elephant maternal hosts and elephant surrogate families to raise the unextinct mammoths before releasing them into the wild. Before mammoth de-extinction proceeds beyond the first stages of sequencing and manipulating genomes, we need to know much more about how to perform these later steps in ways that are not harmful to elephants.

Science fiction author David Brin thought about this, and let us look over his shoulder in Earth, his 1990 novel full of interesting ideas and inventions:

Baby's brow fur was long and oily, and gave off a pungent, tangy, yet somehow pleasant odor. The worldwide network of genetic arks had a surfeit of pachyderms, even this new breed - "Mammontelephas" - with half of its genes salvaged from a 20,000-year-old cadaver exposed by the retreating Canadian tundra.
(Read about David Brin's Mammontelephas)

Pretty fun article with lots of good quotes at SmithsonianMag.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/3/2020)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Biology ")

Mushroom Coffin Returns You To Nature, Naturally
'She touched the leaf. She was wanted.' - Philip K Dick, 1954.

Mechanical Milking Of Microalgae For Fuel Production
'They call 'em culture tanks. They have bugs -- germs -- growing in them.' - Hal Clement, 1950.

Fetal Lamb Rests In Artificial Womb
'... stewing warm on their cushion of peritoneum and gorged with blood-surrogate and hormones, the foetuses grew and grew...' - Aldous Huxley, 1932.

Bring Back Extinct Animals! Sort of.
'The worldwide network of genetic arks had a surfeit of pachyderms...' - David Brin, 1990

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Jet-Powered Flying Suits Tested By Navy
'With his motor in operation, he moves like a diver, head foremost...'

Pub Installs Electrified Fence Around Bar
'I start twelve immensely strong wires--naked, not insulated --from a big dynamo...'

What Does A Tesla Full Self-Driving Car See?
'All objects within my panoramic gaze trembled and vibrated like quick motion pictures...'

BioVYZR Is Ready, Anti-Covid19 PAPR Lovers
'Some clad in the insulated space-suits, with their transparent glassite helmets.'

Tesla Will Have Metal Gear Snake Autocoupler, Musk Confirms
'Its motion was so swift, complex, and perfect that at first I did not see it as a machine, in spite of its metallic glitter.'

Starlink Satellites Leading Edge On-Orbit Debris Mitigation
Propulsion-assisted orbital decay, brought to you by SpaceX.

Healight Ultraviolet Endotracheal Device Has Covid-19 Treatment Potential
'He applied the tip of the instrument to the interior of the wound...'

Parents Use AI To See One Last Message From Their Deceased Son
'...what's to keep me from showing face, Man?'

Satoshi Tomizu Creates Pocket Universes And Worldcraft Bubbles In Glass
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'

Space Hero Inc. Offers Trip To ISS As Reality Show Prize
'This is Elmer Schmitz, presenting to you the finalists in our Aviation Quiz Program...'

I Love Ceiling-Mounted Robots
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...'

Armano Remote Control Excavator
'The bulldozer moved through the... mine... '

OK, NASA 3D Printer Of Food Not Yet Star Trek Food Synthesizer
Maybe not, but we're seeing definite progress.

Kelly Clarkson Show Like Black Mirror '15 Million Merits'
'These people are pieces of software called avatars.'

Salto Jumping Robot Now Sticks Landing!
'Lucky touched the leap knob and the hopper's leg retracted.'

Gyroscopic Median-Straddling Mass Transit Vehicles
'It was among these leviathans that the little gyrocar was daring to thrust its puny self...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.