First clone of an extinct animal created

Paul Raven @ 19-02-2009

While plenty of endangered species have had the honour, the Pyrenean ibex has become the first completely extinct species to be cloned from banked genetic material. It didn’t last long, though:

“We are not especially disappointed for the death of the cloned newborn,” Folch explained in an email, because such deaths in cloning experiments are common.

“We will try to improve the technology in order to increase the efficiency of the cloning process.”

Inevitably, the hand of Michael Crichton reaches out beyond the grave and forces the biologists to reassure us that this isn’t the first step on the road to Jurassic Park. More pertinently, the cloned critter’s death (of respiratory failure) demonstrates that the technology for banging out copies of extinct species is far from perfected.

But it begs the question of which species we should attempt to bring back once we’re able – if any. What should the selection criteria be?

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5 Responses to “First clone of an extinct animal created”

  1. Steve says:

    Has to be the dodo, a synonym for extinction. What greater symbolic cloning could there be (other than a dinosaur)?

  2. Sterling Camden says:

    Who do we think we are… Darwin?
    If Natural Selection had wanted us to bring back extinct animals, it would have given us brains to figure out how. Uh, wait…

  3. Eunoia says:

    Clone Jesus!
    After all the Vatican DOES have the shroud of Turin 😉

    That would be put or shut up for The One True Church ™ versus Atheists 😉

    Yes, this is satire….

  4. John Camden says:

    “You are the bows from which your children
    as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and
    He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far
    Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    So he loves also the bow that is stable.”
    -Kalil Gibran

    Are we ready for this responsibility or are we exploring test tubes in the back of the Camero?

    (I’m in the Camero, btw. Ho oh, why, Ms. Erlenmeyer…)

  5. tee_cee says:

    Tasmanian tiger, New Zealands Moa bird, and the list goes on.. I hope that this reasearch gets the funding it needs. However i hope one day the technology if perfected doesn’t create the attitude of letting current endangered species become extinct. “oh well we’ll bring them back one day”.