Extinction Isn't Forever Anymore: A Quick Intro to De-Extinction


Genetic engineering and cloning have reached a point where "extinction is forever" is no longer true. Granted, no one is opening theme parks with dinosaurs yet, but it will be surprising if it is not tried somewhere at some point.

In the video below Steward Brand is only talking about bringing back the passenger pigeon, however if you continue to the links below the video you'll find that Brand's project is hardly one of a kind and the technology is advancing rapidly.

Via Open Culture:
"Stewart Brand first came to notoriety in the 1960s, as one of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters and as the creator of the Whole Earth Catalog. In 1996 he co-founded the Long Now Foundation, dedicated to fostering long-term thinking in our accelerating culture, with its “pathologically short attention span.” One of Brand’s pet projects at Long Now is Revive & Restore, a program to coordinate genetic research into bringing back presently extinct species. Brand spoke about the project (see above) on February 27 at a TED conference in Long Beach, California.

Revive & Restore’s first project is to bring back the passenger pigeon, a bird that died off in 1914 but was once so abundant that migratory flocks in North America would darken the sky. The passenger pigeon was chosen as the initial project because it is better-known than many extinct species and because the bird’s DNA (taken from museum specimens) has already been sequenced. But Brand promises that the passenger pigeon is only the beginning. “The fact is,” he says, “humans have made a huge hole in nature in the last 10,000 years. We have the ability now, and maybe the moral obligation, to repair some of the damage.”"

See also:

Scientific American: Cloning Wooly Mammoths, It's the Ecology Stupid
Scientific American: Will We Kill Off Today's Animals If We Revive Extinct Ones?
MIT Technology Review: A Stealthy De-Extinction Startup
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