May 31, 2010

Extinct Species DNA 60 Minutes

Is it possible that we can bring extinct species back to life? The word from scientists this weekend is that it may be possible one day soon, to use DNA for re-starting the life cycle of extinct animals.

According to one scientist: "Just the study of ancient DNA only broke onto the scene 20 years ago or so. The idea that we could harvest DNA from extinct creatures, from fossil bones, learn something about the past..." so ten or twenty years form now, who knows what we may be able to do! "Possibly, and especially if those animals were preserved in any way, there's a good prospect of that. It's sort of like 'CSI,' you know? How good is this forensic material? Can you get good DNA information from older and older and older material? That's pretty promising..."

This hasn't worked so well in Stephen King stories, or Steven Spielberg ones for that matter, but reversing some of the harm we've done to many other inhabitants of the planet could be a worthy goal if we did it right.

Extinct Species DNA 60 Minutes

It's difficult to imagine that 10,000 years ago, right here in North America, there lived giant animals that are now the stuff of legends - mammoths and mastodons, ground sloths and sabretooth cats. They, and thousands of other species, have vanished from the Earth. And today, partly due to the expansion of one species - ours - animals are going extinct faster than ever before. The very definition of extinct means gone forever, but what if we could change that?

Extinct Species DNA 60 Minutes

Posted at May 31, 2010 2:44 AM