Friday, September 17, 2010

Reviving Extinct Animals? Been There, Done That

Inspired by You, Wired (undated, probably September 17, 2010)

"Ever since Steven Spielberg brought Jurassic Park to the big screen, teams of biotechnologists have been working to bring extinct animals back to life. They’ve already resurrected the Bucardo, an extinct subspecies of goat. But they’ve also got rarer game in their sights. We round up the re-animation efforts, and handicaps the odds...."

The extinct critters listed and rated are:
  • Bucardo
    • A subspecies of wild goat, or Ibex.
  • Aurochs
    • Massive oxen, standing six feet high at the shoulder
      • Two feet bigger than the biggest bovines of today
  • Woolly Mammoth
    • Longhaired elephants, basically.
  • Tasmanian Tiger
    • A marsupial with a distinctly wolf like aspect.
  • Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor, Triceratops, Stegosaurus… etc.
    • All dinosaurs, obviously
Turns out, a bucardo has been cloned - but only lived seven minutes, according to Wired.

Looks like we've got a good shot at restarting aurochs and wolly mammoths. That Tasmanian tiger and the dinosaurs are - according to Wired - much less likely to get revived. Particularly the dinosaurs. Citing Jurassic Park movies, the article observes: "It was science fiction, after all."

Not, perhaps, the best argument. I can remember when people walking on the moon, industrial robots, and ray guns were "science fiction." And those examples are, respectively, in today's: history; industry; and research & development.

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