Dodo, mammoth… This startup wants to bring prehistoric animals back to life

Colossal Biosciences in the USA has started a crazy project: to revive the woolly mammoth, the Tasmanian tiger or even the dodo, which has been extinct since the 17th century.

This is the first time people have tried it revival of extinct species in complete mass destruction. A company based in Dallas, United States, announced that it wants to bring prehistoric animals back to life, announced a press release accepted by the American press.

Use Ancient Dodo Cells

Colossal Biosciences is a biotechnology company founded by Harvard biologist George Church. a pioneer in genomics, the science that studies the genome. The startup was created to revive extinct animals such as the woolly mammoth and the Tasmanian tiger. Early work focused on the dodo, which has none Not seen since the 17th century from our era.

for recreate the dodoA team of researchers from Harvard Medical School completed the genome sequencingancient DNA It was extracted from the remains of a dodo in Denmark. This genome contains them all genetic information present in animal cells.

In the press, the company is clear: the animal cannot will not be brought back to life from dust. Researchers are trying to find a way to do thispresents genes typical of the dodo in the embryo of a living animal. Very complicated work. You have to choose a bird related to the dodo Like the Nicobar dove or Rodrigues solitaire CNN Beth Shapiro. We need to understand mutations “do the dodo”added paleogeneticist and member of the project.

As the expert noted, his team hopes to adapt existing technique implies that “early germ cells, embryonic precursors of sperm and eggs, used to create chicken fathered a duck”gives information CNN. It consists of scientific work remove the cells extracting primitive stones from eggs, culturing them in the laboratory and introducing cells with the genetic characteristics of the dodo inject them back into the egg at the same stage of development, he explained. The created bird will therefore be hybrid is close to the ancestor.

Reviving extinct animals or saving existing animals?

Unlike the Jurassic Park movie, the goal is not to recreate these animals for captivity, release them into the wild. Beth Shapiro explained that the goal is to reintroduce the bird In Mauritius, he had disappeared because he was hunting the place where he lived before. For this, the company attracted an additional 150 million dollars for the project 225 million dollars From 2021.

The project is not to everyone’s taste and poses ethical issues for some experts. He took an interview Guardian, Professor Ewan Birney, Deputy Director of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, is not excited. The idea of ​​re-creating an extinct species for a scientist not involved in the research instead of saving animals is still alive but danger confuses him. “There are people who think you should do something because you can, but I don’t know why that is and whether it’s really the best allocation of resources. save the species We have them before they’re gone.” Money invested in companies like Colossal Biosciences can be used to protect biodiversity CNN.

Rather, research can help scientists involved in the project fight against mass destruction. According to Beth Shapiro, “This technology that works in chickens… It would be amazing to do this in many different birds throughout the tree of life birdsbecause it will have a significant impact protection of birds.”

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⋙ When animal technology helps humanity

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