Animals that died out thousands of years ago could be recreated using genetic information retrieved from well-preserved specimens recovered from permafrost, dark caves or dry desserts.

I\’m going to launch a plan to resurrect a ballet dancer from a raspberry Pavlova. Maybe even John Holmes from a spotted dick.

11 thoughts on “Hmmm”

  1. It’s not as unreasonable as it might seem. You’ll notice that the planned subjects still have pretty close living relatives, which are necessary as one difficulty is arranging for proper growth and development of the embryo to occur, and there’s no way to do this without an appropriate parent.

  2. Hmm, yet another ‘Bad Science’ article that been around the world and used as an excuse to show clips from ‘Jurassic Park’…

    “You’ll notice that the planned subjects still have pretty close living relatives…”

    The glyptodon..? The giant ground sloth…?

    That’s assuming they get as far as developing an embryo, that is…

  3. We’d do better to try stop the animals existing here and now from going extinct.

    That said,

    The glyptodon…..pretty close living relatives….Gordon Brown?

  4. JuliaM, sorry I don’t understand why it’s bad science. I’m not a genetics expert but we have samples of DNA of long extinct animals (bugs in amber being just one example of a source) – it doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility to me… Personally I’d be fucking amazed if this wasn’t possible within a few years..

    With regards where to put the embryo, synthetic wombs also are not beyond belief. I know we’re a way off yet but this kind of science is moving forwards at a pretty scary rate right now!

  5. “JuliaM, sorry I don’t understand why it’s bad science.”

    It’s bad science on behalf of the media, not the original report, which was just a highly speculative look at where the research being done on ice-age recovered DNA could theoretically take us.

    Naturally enough, to the MSM puff-pieces, that translated into: “ZOMG! Sabretooths, thylacines and short-faced bears, oh my… ”

    “synthetic wombs also are not beyond belief.”

    Not beyond belief, no. But very, very far away…

  6. Dan Dennett points out in Darwin’s Dangerous Idea that in Jurassic Park missing segments of dinosaur DNA were patched with frog DNA. However, humans are more closely related to dinosaurs than either is to frogs.

    Without a viable embryological substrate all the DNA in the world won’t get you a balucitherium. It’s like having a CD without a CD player. It is, quite literally, a chicken-and-egg problem.

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