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Should We Clone Extinct Animals?
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Should We Clone Extinct Animals?:

 1 Psyga 315, Sat, 12th Nov '11 7:18:40 AM from Dungeons & Dragons No Sekai Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Nanako The Narcface
This question was posed in another thread, so rather than derailing the topic of that thread any further, I decided to make a thread regarding this topic.

I recalled watching a special on Tasmanian Tigers and at the very end, scientists begun to think about cloning them. I say they should. Technology is getting more advanced than ever, and eventually, things we see in Science Fiction will be possible. Including Cloning. If anything, they should definitely clone extinct animals.
"An MMORPG without a logout button? That's a bold decision, man!"
 2 Caissas Death Angel, Sat, 12th Nov '11 7:20:30 AM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
For the purposes of study...absolutely, I suspect there's much we can't know about them without doing so.
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 3 Major Tom, Sat, 12th Nov '11 7:22:46 AM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
I kinda disagree. Species that lost the evolutionary race don't deserve to be artificially propped up. Take the Chinese panda for instance, it's on its way out naturally since it refuses to even take reproduction seriously. Don't clone that.

Maybe we can do that to recently extinct (or extinct in the wild) species since their eco-systems likely have not yet fully adapted to their disappearance but if it has been gone for a long while or died out naturally, don't bring it back even if we can.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
Yes, we certainly should clone them, for research purposes. However, we should be careful about introducing these animals back into the wild, as there is no telling what their presence would do to the natural environment.

edited 12th Nov '11 7:24:41 AM by tropetown

Pro-Freedom Fanatic
Sure, Why Not?? As loong as we're using it to resurrect the cool animals.

I'd be awesome to have wooly mammoths roaming through the steppes of Northern Eurasia, after all. And Thylacines deserve to be brought back.
You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
I'd support this if the revived animals were used for scientific study and for kids to see at a Zoo. Reintroducing them to the wild... not so much.
Byte Me
 7 Psyga 315, Sat, 12th Nov '11 7:40:43 AM from Dungeons & Dragons No Sekai Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Nanako The Narcface
Yes, we certainly should clone them, for research purposes. However, we should be careful about introducing these animals back into the wild, as there is no telling what their presence would do to the natural environment.

Luckly for you, that issue was raised in the Black Rhino topic. I'll quote it. It's from My God, It's Full of Stars.

So far it has one big drawback - you can't teach cloned animals to live in the wild. Sure, you could bring back an extinct animal physically, so you can restore its genepool, but you can't teach it the skills it needs for survival - a species' so called memepool (that's where the word "meme" came from in the first place), or the combined memories and lessons passed down from parents to child. Some species live only off of instinct, so those should be alright, but forget about mammals and birds, and even a few reptiles and fish - without parents to show them the ropes, the species would just end up as lion (or other appropriate predator) food in a hurry.

This is also why zoos are not going to save species, either. Zoos are basically full of fancy pets, not a viable stock of species that could be reintroduced to the wild.
"An MMORPG without a logout button? That's a bold decision, man!"
 8 Mandemo, Sat, 12th Nov '11 7:44:48 AM from your moon, mining helium Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Average moon dude
For Science! and study, yes. Returning them back to nature? Hell no, unless they got magic powers.
[up][up]Those are all interesting points. It also made me want to own a private zoo, for some reason. [lol]

edited 12th Nov '11 7:45:32 AM by tropetown

 10 FF Shinra, Sat, 12th Nov '11 8:08:56 AM from Ivalice, apparently Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Beware the Crazy Man.
Depends on the species. I don't want Jurassic Park goin on...

Idealistically, I want Wooly Mammoths to come back. Maybe the Dodo as well. Aurochs? Eh. Heck's Cattle is good enough....

ETA-

As for memetics, one could probably teach it enough skills from its cousin species (if it has any). Sure its not exactly the same, but still...

edited 12th Nov '11 8:10:27 AM by FFShinra

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 11 fanty, Sat, 12th Nov '11 9:04:29 AM from ANGRYTOWN
Woefully Ineloquent
Zoos are basically full of fancy pets, not a viable stock of species that could be reintroduced to the wild.
The European bison went extinct in the wild, but then were re-introduced into the wild after zoos cooperated in breeding sufficient amounts of them to be able to do that. I recently listened to a program on BBC about bison being reintroduced in Czech Republic (Or was it some other eastern European country? Can't remember at the moment...).

Anyway, I vote for mammoths being brought back.

edited 12th Nov '11 9:08:19 AM by fanty

Individual liberation is an illusion.
Yes, I want a Tasmanian Tiger.
 
 13 annebeeche, Sat, 12th Nov '11 9:55:53 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
I kinda disagree. Species that lost the evolutionary race don't deserve to be artificially propped up. Take the Chinese panda for instance, it's on its way out naturally since it refuses to even take reproduction seriously. Don't clone that.

Not all animals are dying naturally though. Many are being killed off by hunters or by destruction of their environment by human activity. Humans have an incredibly unfair advantage over other wild animals and they can't possibly keep up.

If we just let those species die out then eventually there will be no animals left but those who thrive due to human activity such as livestock, pets and vermin that live off human waste. Biodiversity will be destroyed.

Species extinction has a very nasty trickle-down effect on the biosphere. When an animal goes extinct, all the things that that animal kept in check will go rampant. For example, take a look at the decreasing population of wolves in North America, and the corresponding deer overpopulation. Species that will go rampant includes diseases, and vectors of diseases.

I am all for resurrection of species through cloning if it means stability in this world.

edited 12th Nov '11 9:57:30 AM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
WE shouldn't clone extinct animals, There would be no way to reintroduce them in a ecosystem that has been decades ahead of them.
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 15 annebeeche, Sat, 12th Nov '11 9:59:41 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
[up] Ecosystems evolve rather slowly.

We probably shouldn't reintroduce the sabre-tooth tiger or the mesohippus since the ecosystem has existed without them for thousands of years and the earth itself has seen great natural transformation since that time, but species such as the auk and the aurochs were thriving before they were destroyed by over-hunting in the 17th century or 18th centuries.

17th and 18th century were practically yesterday. I bet Ecosystem wouldn't even notice they were missing and they'd fit right back in.

edited 12th Nov '11 10:01:05 AM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 16 Exelixi, Sat, 12th Nov '11 10:04:03 AM from Alchemist's workshop Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Lesbarian
Yes. Next question?
Mura: -flips the bird to veterinary science with one hand and Euclidean geometry with the other-
Mentor
We should clone them. For SCIENCE!

I don't really have a logical reason, except that it feels very much like SCIENCE!

If some stupid person misues the power of cloning for their own evil purposes then we will have problems.tongue
 
 19 annebeeche, Sat, 12th Nov '11 11:08:57 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
[up] Successful cloning takes a team of techs who know what they are doing, and also need funding to perform their work. Unless that evil person is very influential and very rich, that is very unlikely.

edited 12th Nov '11 11:09:13 AM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 20 Clarste, Sat, 12th Nov '11 11:13:59 AM Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Three Steps
I don't think there'd be much harm in cloning recently extinct species (but not much point either, since they'd simply be raised to "very endangered" and likely become extinct again shortly), but older species from thousands of years ago probably wouldn't work in any sense.

There's quite a few drawbacks technologically that makes this a difficult proposition. I listed them in the other thread, but here they are again (don't worry, its a good idea to make this thread, I'm just getting people caught up to the discussion):

1. Cloning involves taking adult DNA and forcing it to act like the DNA of an embryo. The problem is that adult DNA has been degraded by time, and the resulting clone will have the DNA of an adult specimen. Unless we can clone from embryos, that means that the clone will have a host of physical problems from an early age.

2. Current cloning techniques require a viable egg cell. In some cases we think we can get away with using a different, but similar, species egg cells, but it may be that there simply is not a living species that can offer a host egg with the proper chemistry to work with an extinct animals' DNA. For mammals you also need a womb that the cloned embryo can survive in, and if the species is gone it might not be that easy to find such a thing. Also, we know nothing about the hormones that an extinct animal needs to develop properly, so it could turn out that we can only get female clones, or parts of the embryo are simply missing, or any number of developmental disorders could arise.

3. A lot of extinct species only offer up broken strands of DNA. We'd have to make some guesses when repairing these strands, and possibly fill in some blanks ourselves. That means that ultimately, we aren't creating the species, but a similar organism with similar features. Can you really call it a wooly mammoth if you had to fill in some DNA with african elephant DNA?

4. Somebody wants to clone the neanderthal. That should not be allowed - the guys were just as smart as us, but physically much stronger. They simply died out due to climate change making their preferred hunting habits (sneaking up an animals then stabbing them and beating them with weapons at melee range) impossible. Do we really want to bring back our possible replacement? And what about neanderthal rights - are they people, or do they belong in a zoo?

5. There are better options for animals that are highly endangered. Zoos could freeze embryos from critically endangered species, then turn them over to wildlife groups working to reintroduce species to the wild. The problem is zoos don't really have an economic incentive to do this, so it doesn't happen all that often. There have been a few exceptions, though, like the European Bison mentioned earlier, and the california condor, but the general rule is zoos should not be relied upon when it comes to protecting a species (a better model would be the panda reserves China has set up, which do have as their goal reintroduction to the wild and are funded by the government so they aren't motivated by economics alone).

All that being said, some species ought to be brought back if they can be, because without them their ecosystems are collapsing. The problem is that before we try such programs, we have to make sure that the things which wiped the species out in the first place are fixed. For example, dodo birds were driven extinct by the introduction of pigs and rats to Mauritus, so before we can bring back the dodo to the island we have to kill off every last rat and pig on the island - probably an impossible task. So dodos are likely going to remain dead as a dodo in the wild, even if we do bring them back through cloning. The thylacine, on the other hand, might do just fine, so long as Tasmanian shepherds don't shoot the things. Of course, reintroducing the thylacine could have consequences for the tasmanian devil, which is on the ropes itself due to a plague and probably couldn't do with the competition with another predator at the moment. Thing is, it might actually help the devil too, since the theory goes that the tasmanian devils ate what was left over by the thylacines. Reintroduction has to be handled in a very careful and controlled manner, really.
 
Adveho in mihi Lucifer
I think it's a waste to not clone them. As life forms, it is our duty to spread life, and as sophonts it is our duty to perfect nature.

Besides, some prehistoric animals just have tons of applications. People are already planning to construct machines that use the launching style pterosaurs used; if there were actual living pterosaurs to study closely and to dissect, such projects would be finished much more quickly.
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 23 Clarste, Sat, 12th Nov '11 12:38:20 PM Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Three Steps
1. Cloning involves taking adult DNA and forcing it to act like the DNA of an embryo. The problem is that adult DNA has been degraded by time, and the resulting clone will have the DNA of an adult specimen. Unless we can clone from embryos, that means that the clone will have a host of physical problems from an early age.

This would only be a problem for the first generation, wouldn't it? Presumably you'd want them to breed. As long as they live long enough to breed not much else matters.

 24 Vellup, Sat, 12th Nov '11 12:57:50 PM from America Relationship Status: The Skitty to my Wailord
I have balls.
[up][up][up] Speaking of the Neanderthal, humans probably interbred with them back in the day—so they aren't necessarily gone so to speak. In fact, considering the historical impact of the Europeans, you could say that Neanderthal DNA has been surprisingly successful for an extinct species.

I don't think we have any frozen neanderthals though, like we do wooly mammoths, so it'd probably be almost impossible to clone them.
They never travel alone.
Another thing we should not clone any animals that probably have a good reason for being extinct.Because I don't want any megalodons being cloned.For those who don't know what Megalodons are they are sharks that make the shark from Jaws seem puny.
 
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