Photo credit: New York Times
Scientists are looking into what they’re calling “de-extinction” meaning bringing animals that have died out back into the population through genetic enginerring and biotechnology. The specific focus has been woolly mammoths which they would revive by splicing their DNA with that of Asian and African elephants. The main problem with the idea is that using these elephants for such an experiment might speed up the extinction of an already dying population; in saving one species, we would kill another. This idea has caused scientists to consider more thoroughly the costs and benefits of bringing a certain species back to life. They have calculated the literal dollar value of reviving some types of birds, but realize that in order to be worth such a cost, a species must make a unique and beneficial contribution in their ecological roles. So what should we consider when deciding which animals to bring back to life? Should we be excercising our power to do so in the first place?
See full story here.