As science and technology continue to hurtle forward, often in leaps and exponential bounds in this 21st century of ours, we often find ourselves approaching morale and ethical boundaries that were once unthinkably out of reach.
And, thanks to our modern ability to communicate instantaneously, these lines in the sand are becoming hotly debate pieces of the pop culture conversation. Should we live forever? Should we be playing God? Is crossing these boundaries all a part of whatever cosmic conundrum you ascribe to?
The latest example of such a grey area comes to us from Texas, where entrepreneurial scientists are now considering bring a long-extinct animal back into our modern world.
A Texas-based biosciences startup’s plan to bring back a wolf-like animal that’s thought to have gone extinct in 1936 seems quaint when stacked against its latest plan: to de-extinct a bird that last walked the earth in the late 1600s. Colossal Biosciences on Tuesday said it will endeavor to bring back the dodo bird, a desired feat the company indicates is more doable thanks to $150 million in new funding it has secured, reports Gizmodo. That means Colossal Biosciences has its sights set on resurrecting three creatures: the dodo, the aforementioned thylacine, and the woolly mammoth.
The wheels have already been spinning rather powerfully.
The bird’s genome has been sequenced using centuries-old remains and the DNA was next compared to the bird’s closest known relatives, the Nicobar pigeon and the Rodrigues solitaire. The latter, like the dodo, is an extinct flightless bird that lived near the dodo’s home island of Mauritius. The goal: zero in on which mutations in the genome “make a dodo a dodo,” lead paleogeneticist Beth Shapiro tells CNN.
So, when could we see a Dodo roaming some enclosure at a high-tech Texas zoo?
The company is already planning to birth its Woolly Mammoth facsimile in 2028, and has suggested that the Dodo would likely precede that event.
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