Researchers are using genetic experiments to bring back extinct animals

The Tasmanian tiger, the dodo, the woolly mammoth and passenger pigeon are some species which got extinct years due to environmental and human activities. Imagine all these beast coming live! Today due to advancement in biotechnology scientists are trying to bring back the extinct animal. But the critics believe that doing this would only hamper the conservation efforts.  So this is how the resurrection of these animals can be done:

The passenger pigeon

The passenger pigeon got extinct due to habitat destruction and hunting. But what if the researchers could bring them back? The passenger pigeon specimen in the museum cannot be cloned as their genome is not fully intact. But that can be done by using pieces of the passenger pigeon DNA, as it could synthesize the genes for certain traits and splice the genes together into the genome of a rock pigeon.

The cells with DNA from passenger pigeon can be transformed into cells which produces both egg and sperm, that is injected into rock pigeon eggs. The offspring would resemble passenger pigeons. Researchers can select some specific traits and breed these birds. Finally the offspring would appear very much like the passenger pigeon.

Woolly mammoths

Mammoths have been dug out of the Siberian tundra where its hair, bone marrow and fat. If a living mammoth cell were found, it could be grown in a lab and coaxed to form an embryo. The embryo is implanted into an elephant, that could give birth to a baby mammoth. But finding a living mammoth cell is very unlikely.

Biomedical engineer Insung Hwang from South Korea hopes to find a cell nucleus and produce a clone from it, just like Dolly the sheep. The nucleus is then implanted into an elephant egg whose nucleus had been removed.  It is not very easy to successfully harvest an elephant egg.

Even if researchers successfully create mammoth, passenger pigeon or other extinct creature, they have to survive in the wild. This means they must have the right food and habitat and be able to evade the predators.

De-extinction is a uniquely self-gratifying brand of conservation with controversies.


Original article was published in National Geographic