Pictures: Extinct Species That Could Be Brought Back

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A museum worker inspects a replica of a woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), a species that went extinct 3,000 to 10,000 years ago. In March 2012, scientists in Russia and South Korea announced a partnership to try to clone the mammoth and generate a living specimen. (See “Species Revival: Should We Bring Back Extinct Animals?“)

National Geographic News asked Hendrik Poinar, a molecular evolutionary geneticist and biological anthropologist at the Ancient DNA Centre at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, if we might soon see the gigantic land mammals roaming the steppe again. Poinar will speak about the emerging technology at the TEDx Conference on DeExtinction in Washington this month.

“People were painting pictures of woolly mammoths in caves in France 35,000 years ago, so we have this amazing history with them,” Poinar said.

Poinar’s team isolates DNA and proteins from fossils and preserved remains, and then uses sophisticated sequencing and analysis tools to answer questions about species extinctions, evolution, and even the spread of infectious diseases. Poinar has tested relatively well-preserved samples from mammoth carcasses uncovered in the Yukon and Siberia. The mammoth remains had been entombed in the permafrost (permanently frozen ground), so degradation of their DNA had been slowed over time, Poinar explained.

Written By: Brian Clark Howard
continue to source article at news.nationalgeographic.com

13 COMMENTS

    • The technology could be used to stop living species on the brink from going extinct so I would be wary of prejudging the application of new technology. Progress usually come from new uses of blue sky science after all.

      Be honest though, if somebody put together an extinct animal safari park with mammoths,woolly rhinos, Moas and Tasmanian tigers in it, wouldn’t you want to go? Think of the revenue such a place could create for wild life conservation.

      Mind you there are huge ethical considerations for this.
      For example we we have the Neanderthal genome sequenced already. How ethical would it be to bring back an extinct human species?

      In reply to #7 by Aber ration:

      While we are using resources to bring back extinct species, more living species are going extinct. Well that makes sense then.

  1. Not that another one were needed but this would be another spectacular nail science drives into the coffin of theism. How satisfying to rub the faces of our inveterate godbotherers in some freshly pooped mammoth dung from a creature brought back to life by humans from the heretofore thought to be permanent and final death of extinction – a feat that not even their god, for all of his omnipotence attested to in their “holy” scriptures, can pull off. As little as he can manage growing back severed limbs. Yet another thing we can imagine medical science achieving in the next 100 years.

    • In reply to #13 by godsbuster:

      Not that another one were needed but this would be another spectacular nail science drives into the coffin of theism. How satisfying to rub the faces of our inveterate godbotherers in some freshly pooped mammoth dung from a creature brought back to life by humans from the heretofore thought to be permanent and final death of extinction – a feat that not even their god, for all of his omnipotence attested to in their “holy” scriptures, can pull off. As little as he can manage growing back severed limbs. Yet another thing we can imagine medical science achieving in the next 100 years.

      Unfortunately the God squad will claim we are simply working with what He gave us, ala Kent Hovind et al.

  2. I don’t have an issue bringing back woollys, we killed them off we should try bring them back. But we need to save endangered species beforehand. when they repopulated yellow stone park with wolves an amazing thing happened, willow trees that had been eaten away by the deer who had no natural predators to check them made a come back too, who would of thought a meat eater would be able to help a tree.

  3. In the year of our Lord 2016: man successfully clones mammoth.

    2023: 93% of human population wiped out by Mammoth Flu.

    2163: Man drives mammoth to extinction through over-hunting.

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