Reviving the Woolly Mammoth: Will De-Extinction Become Reality?

page: 1
2

log in

join

posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 06:04 AM
link   



Biologists briefly brought the extinct Pyrenean ibex back to life in 2003 by creating a clone from a frozen tissue sample harvested before the goat's entire population vanished in 2000. The clone survived just seven minutes after birth, but it gave scientists hope that "de-extinction," once a pipedream, could become a reality. Ten years later, a group of researchers and conservationists gathered in Washington, D.C., today (March 15) for a forum called TEDxDeExtinction, hosted by the National Geographic Society, to talk about how to revive extinct animals, from the Tasmanian tiger and the saber-toothed tiger to the woolly mammoth and the North American passenger pigeon. Though scientists don't expect a real-life "Jurassic Park" will ever be on the horizon, a species that died a few tens of thousands of years ago could be resurrected as long as it has enough intact ancient DNA. Some have their hopes set on the woolly mammoth, a relative of modern elephants that went extinct 3,000 to 10,000 years ago and left behind some extraordinarily well preserved carcasses in Siberian permafrost.

Scientists in Russia and South Korea have embarked on an ambitious project to try to create a living specimen using the DNA-storing nucleus of a mammoth cell and an Asian elephant egg — a challenging prospect, as no one has ever been able to harvest eggs from an elephant. [Image Gallery: Bringing Extinct Animals Back to Life] But DNA from extinct species doesn't need to be preserved in Arctic conditions to be useful to scientists — researchers have been able to start putting together the genomes of extinct species from museum specimens that have been sitting on shelves for a century. If de-extinction research has done anything for science, it's forced researchers to look at the quality of the DNA in dead animals, said science journalist Carl Zimmer, whose article on de-extinction featured on the cover of the April issue of National Geographic magazine. "It's not that good but you can come up with techniques to retrieve it," Zimmer told LiveScience. For instance, a team that includes Harvard genetics expert George Church is trying to bring back the passenger pigeon — a bird that once filled eastern North America's skies. They have been able to piece together roughly 1 billion letters (Each of four amino acids make up DNA has a letter designation) in the bird's genome based on DNA from a 100-year-old taxidermied museum specimen. They hope to incorporate those genes responsible for certain traits into the genome of a common rock pigeon to bring back the passenger pigeon, or at least create something that looks like it.

A few years ago, another group of researchers isolated DNA from a 100-year-old specimen of a young thylacine, also known as Tasmanian tiger. The pup had been preserved in alcohol at Museum Victoria in Melbourne. Its genetic material was inserted into mouse embryos, which proved functional in live mice. [Photos: The Creatures of Cryptozoology] Should we? Now that de-extinction looms as a possibility, it presents some thorny questions: Should we bring back these species? And what would we do them? Stuart Pimm of Duke University argued in an opinion piece in National Geographic that these efforts would be a "colossal waste" if scientists don't know where to put revived species that had been driven off the planet because their habitats became unsafe. "A resurrected Pyrenean ibex will need a safe home," Pimm wrote. "Those of us who attempt to reintroduce zoo-bred species that have gone extinct in the wild have one question at the top of our list: Where do we put them? Hunters ate this wild goat to extinction. Reintroduce a resurrected ibex to the area where it belongs and it will become the most expensive cabrito ever eaten." Pimm also worries that de-extinction could create a false impression that science can save endangered species, turning the focus away from conservation. But others argue that bringing back iconic, charismatic creatures could stir support for species preservation. "Some people feel that watching scientists bring back the great auk and putting it back on a breeding colony would be very inspiring," Zimmer told LiveScience. The great auk was the Northern Hemisphere's version of the penguin. The large flightless birds went extinct in the mid-19th century. Other species disappeared before scientists had a chance to study their remarkable biological abilities — like the gastric brooding frog, which vanished from Australia in the mid-1980s, likely due to timber harvesting and the chytrid fungus. "This was not just any frog," Mike Archer, a paleontologist at the University of New South Wales, said during his talk at TEDxDeExtinction, which was broadcast via livestream.

These frogs had a unique mode of reproduction: The female swallowed fertilized eggs, turned its stomach into a uterus and gave birth to froglets through the mouth. "No animal, let alone a frog, has been known to do this – change one organ in the body into another," Archer said. He's using cloning methods to put gastric brooding frog nuclei into eggs of living Australian marsh frogs. Archer announced today that his team has already created early-stage embryos of the extinct species forming hundreds of cells. "I think we're gonna have this frog hopping glad to be back in the world again," he said.

www.livescience.com...

And here we go again my position is if us humans were not responsible for their extinction then let it stay extinct,I can agree that the Tasmanian tiger the Dodo birds and other species we caused to go extinct should be replaced by us if we can.they keep saying this isn't going to be a Jurassic park but I guarantee you someone somewhere is going to take it to that level,question we are barred from making human clones,who here believes the first human clone is yet to be born.




posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 06:15 AM
link   
Well it'd be nice to see extinct animals around again.

Lets see how it goes. I hope I see the mammoth in my life time!



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 06:17 AM
link   
reply to post by Spider879
 


I don't have a problem with bringing animals back as long as they don't harm the existing animal population.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 06:54 AM
link   
The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

It'd be cool to see some extinct critters being brought back.

I vividly remember being around 6-7 and feeling a serious grief over a book chapter about extinct animals - specifically ones finished off by Mankind. I was sitting on the carpet and felt heartbroken looking at an illustration of passenger pigeons and dodos.

Unfortunately, we can't bring them back ('de-extinct') without both sets of parents. So a mammoth-hybrid might be carried to term by an elephant and would never be a true 'mammoth.' The same can be said for any others from the distant past.

This is why that little kid was heartbroken - when it's gone, it's gone for good.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 07:04 AM
link   
I don`t see the purpose in doing something like this, but if the world has so much extra money just floating around then I don`t see any harm in creating some very expensive pets to fill the zoos with.
There`s a reason that they went extinct if we bring them back then we are responsible for being their caretakers, providing them with food, a suitable habitat and climate etc. we (the human race)can`t even take care of ourselves by feeding ourselves and not destroying our environment. It just doesn`t seem right to be wasting money caring for a bunch of previously extinct animals while we have people starving and homeless.
on the other hand,a wooly mammoth could provide a lot of blankets and mammoth steaks for homeless people.
edit on 17-3-2013 by Tardacus because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 07:07 AM
link   
Having read the article the following can be stated:

While the wonders of sciences can create what appears to be miracles and virtual nightmares, what is being proposed is to bring back recently deceased species that were eliminated by mankind. It sounds noble, and the very thought should make us proud, but there are a few things and logisitics that are not mentioned here that should be taken into account.

The first problem is the actual action, that is the first and primary hurdle along with having to get a viable embryo and it to survive to its natural age. So far the clones do not live that long so survival is going to be an issue.

The next problem is habitat, that is another hurdle that they will have to fix and come up with a problem. Back when these animals roamed the planet, there were not so many diseases, viruses and bacteria, most were isolated by distance and ocean, and that has gone away with the advent of transportaion and modern travel.

The next problem that comes up is viable population. It is a main issue that I don't think anyone really thinks of when it comes to cloning an extinct species. It is not one animal that they would have to clone to have such survive but a large number of them, to be raised and then let loose in the wild to deal with survival. Many of the species today have had to contend with the onsite of human kind, the destruction of habitat and the ebbs and flows of population numbers.

It is the latter that is rarely mentioned, so we clone and bring back a mammoth, then it dies, only for us to see another species go back to being extinct cause there was not enough numbers of such. Some of the problems that affect population with low numbers would be inbreeding depression and natural diseaster, can severly damage an existing species along with one that you intend to bring back.

While many scientists do not think that we should create a jurrasic park, that is what would have to be created on many of the suggested species that they want to bring back, where there would be too few and to study, to see how they react, and how much they would eat. Take the mammoth for example, they would use the elephant as a template, and what all is known about this animal.

Elephants are one of the largest land mammals currently on the planet. They grow to be a hung height, show some intelligent, and are herbivors, with very few predators, living in family groups. Most require and consume 330 pounds of vegitation and require 11 gallons of water every day. And most have a range of 112 miles that they travel and migrate within. So that would mean for there to be a sucessful and viable group, we would have to set asside thousands of miles of land for such a group and have a population of at least 120 mammoths, that would have to consist of 40 different groups, with one male for every 4 females, to even make the attempt worth it, and then protect them, along with preventing the destruction of their habitate. If not then all we would do is create an animal that would end up going extinct again.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 07:19 AM
link   
I hope they bring back some of the really tasty ones.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 07:28 AM
link   
I don't know what is the problem. Most of the people here believe we are the product of an alien genetic experiment.

This seems to be the logical next step in our evolution, the son becomes the father.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 07:37 AM
link   
reply to post by Spider879
 


effit. If they can do it, do it.
Big fuss over a hairy elephant.
Pft.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 08:50 AM
link   
I had never heard of the Great Auk. I read the Wiki on it, and soon became ashamed to be human..

What a pity.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 09:02 AM
link   
I think this is amazing.

We, as a species, have decimated so many species and changed entire ecosystems by introducing foreign species. It is our obligation and duty to recreate these species and reintroduce them to their natural habitat whenever possible. I hope that this makes us look forward to natural ecology and species preservation with newfound responsibility and dedication.

If these animals are reintroduced into the wild, I hope it is under strict and draconian laws that they not be hunted. As a general rule, I do dot like going to zoos because I feel bad for the animals, but I would definitely support a wooly mammoth sanctuary.
edit on 17-3-2013 by rimjaja because: Typo



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 10:47 AM
link   
Most of us agree that habitation is going to be a problem but that only leave us with..do I dare say it!! the Jurassic park option,and I have a question for you folks into biology are cloned cells at their deepest level as old as the actual animals they will become.



sdcigarpig

The first problem is the actual action, that is the first and primary hurdle along with having to get a viable embryo and it to survive to its natural age. So far the clones do not live that long so survival is going to be an issue.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 01:01 PM
link   
Why bring an animal back to an envirement that is quite diferent from when it once existed? What would this do to other animals and what would it mean for mankind? I wish they would just leave mother nature alone.
edit on 17-3-2013 by Night Star because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 01:17 PM
link   
would have good commercial value in the distant future ...from horse breeders to a loving pet ...people would pay big bucks ....who knows in the future a dying man may request to be cloned after his death ,leaving all his wealth to his new cloned self ..

yes i do believe humans have been cloned ..it stands to reason that if you have the know how you would try



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 01:20 PM
link   
reply to post by Spider879
 


Humans may well have helped with the extinction of the Mammoth. We use to hunt them and even used their bones to make houses. Mammoths may well have been alive as late as the Roman times.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 01:27 PM
link   

Originally posted by purplemer
reply to post by Spider879
 


Humans may well have helped with the extinction of the Mammoth. We use to hunt them and even used their bones to make houses. Mammoths may well have been alive as late as the Roman times.

You are speaking of extreme northern Europe and America? do we have a find or something for that would be interesting,I know the giant Ox was still around during Roman times.
edit on 17-3-2013 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 01:29 PM
link   

Originally posted by sitchin
would have good commercial value in the distant future ...from horse breeders to a loving pet ...people would pay big bucks ....who knows in the future a dying man may request to be cloned after his death ,leaving all his wealth to his new cloned self ..

yes i do believe humans have been cloned ..it stands to reason that if you have the know how you would try


Yes it will be a brave new world the rise of the trans-humans



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 01:39 PM
link   
I say they should go for it. Not that I want a Jurassic Park. I just feel it would help in the future as we slowly but truly destroy the animals we currently have. Just look at the numbers of animals being killed for horns or number of sharks being killed for fins.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 01:45 PM
link   
reply to post by Spider879
 



Sorry I was a little out with that date...Mammoths died out 3600 years ago on Wrangel Island (Siberia)


We usually think of woolly mammoths as purely Ice Age creatures. But while most did indeed die out 10,000 years ago, one tiny population endured on isolated Wrangel Island until 1650 BCE. So why did they finally go extinct?


io9.com...

There is plenty of documented evidence that mammoths where hunted by humans and some people think there extinction was caused by a change in the climate and pressure from hunting..

Here is an example of a dwelling made of mammoth tusks — it was discovered in the village of Mezhyrich and now it is exhibited at the Zoological Museum in Kyiv.






new topics
top topics
 
2

log in

join