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Genetic engineering company wants to bring back animals that became extinct in the 17th century

Science is not just technology full of LEDs, spaceflight or supervaccines. The return of extinct animals is also on the agenda. Right! We don’t stop at cloning a simple sheep.

OUR Colossal biological sciencesa genetic engineering startup said Tuesday it wants to bring an extinct dodo back to life.

Will we get the dodo back?

The Dodo is a bird native to the island of Mauritius that became extinct in 1681, and now the company intends to bring it back, for which it received a contribution of $150 million to operate. The investment came from a fund led by several companies such as US Innovation Technology Fund and In-Q-tel.

Colossal announced its plans to return the animal in September 2022. But it wasn’t the first animal the company targeted for “extinction recovery.” The woolly mammoth, which has been extinct for 4,000 years, and the thylacine (Tasmanian wolf) are already included in the catalog of animals they want to resurrect.

Although the company managed to get investments, the way to the expected result is long. And this is not only because of the originality of the proposal, but because of all the considerations that must be made before returning these species.

The main reason Colossal claims to be doing this experiment is that these animals can help the ecosystem they were taken from when they went extinct. In the case of the dodo and the Tasmanian wolf, the cause of their extinction was associated with man, as for the mammoth, such a statement is impossible, although it could also become extinct with the assistance of mankind.

Other reasons that are taken into account are the ways in which these animals are reared. Will they have the same habits as their extinct cousins? Without parents to guide them, how will they learn to survive?

In 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission published a report outlining the ground rules for creating surrogate species. “A proxy is used here to refer to a surrogate that in some sense (eg, phenotypically, behaviorally, ecologically) represents another entity – an extinct form.“, the commission said, adding that “A proxy is preferred over a facsimile, which involves creating an exact copy of the animal’s personality..”

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Since it is impossible to reproduce an identical copy of these extinct animals, DNA from similar existing animals will be used. How will this affect the development of the animal? There are hundreds of questions about something so delicate and revolutionary.

I confess that I am curious, but at the same time I am very pessimistic about this undertaking. And you, what do you think of all this? Leave it in the comments below.

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Source: Colossal


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