There has been a big buzz lately about the ability to bring a creature back from extinction by tweaking proteins and genomes in an embryo. Most of us have heard about Paleontologist Jack Horner's conquest to create a small dinosaur using a chicken, a.k.a "Chickensaurus." If not I'll touch on this later in this post.
The idea is to ether bring back animals to existence like a real life Jurassic Park, which by the way is a stupid idea. Animals that went extinct because of natural causes, to quote Jurassic Park's Ian Malcolm, "had their shot and nature selected them for extinction." Bringing animals of any kind from the past back to life can be potentially dangerous to us, the environment and could also be unfair to the animal itself. I will be the first to admit that would do anything to see a living dinosaur or a Woolie Mammoth but not at the cost of the animals health or the environment. We have enough problems in the modern world with diminishing animal population, deforestation and drastic rapid climate change (a.k.a. rapid GLOBAL WARMING). It's a fact people, the people who don't believe in the increased rate of global warming due to emissions, oils and carbon gases need to get with the program. It's a fact! The rate the earth naturally takes to get to we are now from how it was 200 years ago is thousands of years. In 200 years the human race has put itself on a path towards the same global climate and conditions that triggered the Permian extinction. But I digress and will get into that in another post.
Getting back on topic, I believe that using the scientific elements and technology to consider De-Evolution could actually be put to good use. For example, animals and plants that have been completely wiped out due to poaching, deforestation, humans introducing new elements to an environment or taking elements away....Basically any animals or plants that have become extinct in the last century because of something we as humans did.
There is a Huge list of animals in the last 20 years that I will never again be able to see with my own two eyes. Never see one in person. All we are left with are photographs, stuffed carcasses and videos if we are lucky. The Tasmanian Tiger seemed like such a cool and unique animal that was basically hunted and poached to extinction. Just recently there are a few species of Rhino that are ether, within the last two years, totally extinct or their numbers are so low their species will not be able to bounce back. It's an extremely difficult task to get a species numbers out of the red. There is a rule that the chances of any species who's numbers drop bellow 5,000 are very slim. But that's where I think De-Evolution can come into play.
Animals like the West African Black Rhino, Zanzibar Leopard, Golden Toad, Pyrenean Ibex, Spix's Macaw, Quagga, Tasmanian Tiger, Monk Seal, Javan Tiger, Baiji River Dolphin and so much more. Every once of these animals have a close relative who's genetics and embryos can be used to create and bring some of these (human caused) lost animals back to life.
There has been talk about bringing back a Woolie Mammoth..... But why?....The world is heating up, not cooling down. It would be almost inhumane to bring animals that are made for temperatures below freezing into a world were the places that might be habitable hardly have any food or resources to sustain these giant creatures. Again I would love to get up close to one, feel its famous hair and exaggerated tusks but not if it's unfair to the animal itself.
It will be very interesting to see which path science decides to take us down for this subject. Jack Horner has been using chicken embryos and tweaking the proteins needed to give the animal teeth, arms and a tail. Don't know about the rest of you but that very much sounds like a small dinosaur to me. Or at least something that resembles one. Each chicken in the embryonic stage actually has an elongated tail and tiny lumps where the teeth would be inside the beak. Sonic Hedgehog, for example, is the name of a gene and it's protein. The protein is an elemental factor that effects growth. You can take a developing embryo and add or inhibit Sonic Hedgehog without actually changing the genes, and you will turn off or on the growth or a tail or forelimb or even teeth. A chicken has all of these primitive genes and proteins hidden away and suppressed. All we have to do is turn them back on. A lot of people say that is too much like playing god, the technology might even be able to be used for stopping birth defects in humans.
This is the latest amazing discovery I have seen in regards to using De-Evolution. It's very interesting.
"The last Panthera leo spelaea, a big cat known not-quite-popularly as the Cave Lion, walked the earth about 10,000 years ago. Now, a team of researchers in South Korea want to bring it back.
A pair of frozen, well-preserved cubs — estimated to be weeks old and the size of chihuahuas when they died — triggered a flurry of interest when they were uncovered in permafrost in a remote region of Russia called Yakutia. Preservation meant learning about tissues and muscles, stuff the fossil record isn’t so great about keeping on hand. But there were other possibilities — and more out there ideas.
South Korean geneticist Hwang Woo-suk plans to de-extinct the lion using tissue from the cubs, basically mimicking his proposal to bring back the mammoth. (The extraction process of the sample, to hear the Siberian Times tell it, did not go smoothly; the researchers wanted a whole leg, a request which the Russian paleontologists found too extensive.)
The process of de-extinction — that is, bringing animals back to the planet that no longer exist — involves some creative use of genetics. DNA degrades, and even the best mammoth genomes have gaps (as likely exist in the cubs’ DNA). To fill in the blanks, researchers like Woo-suk will have to take material from extant animals and splice them together to form hybrid clones. The groundwork is being laid now — Harvard researcher George Church, for instance, CRISPRed 14 genes of a mammoth into an elephant genome. But it will take some time before the techniques get close to a living creature.
The ultimate question is not if we have the appropriate can-do ‘tude. Instead, to quote Jurassic Park’s Ian Malcolm, it’s if “your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Luckily, in the real world our scientists are asking the right questions — for instance, if the resources allocated toward de-extinction or raising hybrid mammoths from the dead could be better spent improving the ecosystem for living elephants."