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"Lazarus Project" Clones Extinct Frog

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the welcome-back dept.

Biotech 154

cylonlover writes "Australian scientists have successfully revived and reactivated the genome of an extinct frog. The 'Lazarus Project' team implanted cell nuclei from tissues collected in the 1970s and kept in a conventional deep freezer for 40 years into donor eggs from a distantly-related frog. Some of the eggs spontaneously began to divide and grow to early embryo stage with tests confirming the dividing cells contained genetic material from the extinct frog. The extinct frog in question is the Rheobatrachus silus, one of only two species of gastric-brooding frogs, or Platypus frogs, native to Queensland, Australia. Both species became extinct in the mid-1980s and were unique amongst frog species for the way in which they incubated their offspring."

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Reverse Jurassic Park? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202497)

Is this some kind of reverse Jurassic Park story where the frog accidentally had a few strands of dinosaur DNA thrown in and starts breeding into dinosaurs?

Re:Reverse Jurassic Park? (5, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43202741)

No. I kept telling them they were missing a golden opportunity to revive the JP franchise, but they were all like "Security! Get this man out of here!"

Re:Reverse Jurassic Park? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43202847)

But this crazy old billionaire heard your ideas, got you out of jail and gave you a lab of your own...

LAZARUS?! Really?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202501)

As an atheist, I am offended that the name given to such a scientific triumph is that of a fairy-tale produced by the world's most dangerous delision.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (1)

Grantbridge (1377621) | about a year ago | (#43202515)

It can be from Cold Lazarus the sci-fi drama if you prefer.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202671)

I personally thought of the Lazarus Project used to bring Commander Shepard back from death in ME2. Hell, there was a Batman villain who used a "Lazarus pit" to cheat death as well. It's no more awful than using names from Greek or Roman mythology.

capcha: contempt

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (1)

kayoshiii (1099149) | about a year ago | (#43204417)

or Leisure Suit Lazarus

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (3, Informative)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | about a year ago | (#43202525)

Good. You have every right to be offended. Now take your ball and go play somewhere else.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202627)

That's just childishly unacceptable. What room does a genocidal desert-myth have to do with modern genetics? To constantly have this crap forced down our throats is intellectual oppression.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (1)

niado (1650369) | about a year ago | (#43202857)

That's just childishly unacceptable. What room does a genocidal desert-myth have to do with modern genetics? To constantly have this crap forced down our throats is intellectual oppression.

In another life, you'd be a Pat Robertson raging against Planned Parenthood.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202869)

Cultural context. Deal with it, bitch.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (4, Insightful)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year ago | (#43202979)

To constantly have your religion shoved down our throats is intellectual oppression. You cannot erase 2000+ years of history. To attempt to remove all references of it is to do a disservice to yourself. Accept the fact that the mythology you loath is an important part of our culture and shut the fuck up.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (2)

delt0r (999393) | about a year ago | (#43203087)

You must be fun to be around at Easter. Seriously, the Lazarus project just sound cool. Because well the name Lazarus sounds cool. I can easily see such a project spawning the Zombie Apocalypse. And what other hope do I have left now that Ron Paul didn't get to be president.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203719)

Oh, grow up. I'm non-religious but I do understand cultural references. I suppose you also don't like "genetics" because it refers to "genesis" in the etymology of the word? I mean, what next? Are you going to complain about Elvis taxa [] too?

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43202771)

You're not offended at roman mythological names for the planets, are you? Science isn't endorsing or promoting these religions, they're merely referencing them. "Project to bring a frog back from extinction" or "Jurribbit park" aren't as memorable. At least, not in a good way.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (5, Funny)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#43203209)

Hey, I'm still protesting the names of the week - I mean, Tyr, Odin, Thor, Frida - stop forcing your Paganism on me - every. single. week.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (-1, Flamebait)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | about a year ago | (#43203367)

There is a slight difference, in that no one (of any consequence) actually believes the Roman gods actually exist.

I used to think this kind of 'offense' was silly but now I'm not so sure. I've had one too many awkward dinner moments when a religious person asks me some question or smugly states a blatant falsehood. It *is* offensive to me. And yeah, free speech should be absolute... someone being offended should never justify an attempt to silence. But huge swaths of this country, indeed our lives (for example, our more bipolar sexual repression) are still being dictated by the offense Christians take. Is it hypocrasy or justified fire-with-fire to start vocalizing our offense?

So I think it is worth saying: this is not something worth glorying or promoting even in the most benign-seeming way. I don't have a problem with Harry Potter, but if (as some fundamentalists apparently think) a large number of people were actually going around attacking science and teaching children that waving wands actually accomplishes anything, then progressed to passing legislation to support their delusions and suppress dissenters... then yes, the Harry Potter series would grow distasteful to me as well, and I would cringe just as hard if the scientists had named this the "Horcrux Project." Or how about this: imagine an RPG where you can find a book called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which describes, say, the Dark Elves' secret plans for genocide and world domination. It's just fiction, right? It's just a harmlessly playful reference to a work of fiction. Except that work of fiction is still being used today to justify genocidal attacks against Jewish civillians, and because of that fact the reference would rightly be considered offensive. The allusion is inherently offensive because it implies legitimacy (unless the context showed otherwise.)

I'm tired of the all the apatheic, Christian-appologizing atheists. These seemingly trivial things ARE worth bringing up, every time. It is worth reminding people (most of whom have no idea of what secularists actually do and believe) that this is a stupid myth and it DOES affect me and it's various forks are still fucking things up on a large scale all over the world. I don't have to enjoy the bible as a myth or "the greatest story every told". I do not have to preface my rejection of Christianty by saying how Jesus was an awesome guy nonetheless, because he wasn't; he was somewhat better than the average Jew of the time, but that's about it. "The Horcrux Project" would clearly be tongue in cheek. "The Lazarus Project", even if it was intended to be tongue in cheek, would be readily accepted as reference to a factual, historical event by WAY too many people in this nation. And I wouldn't do anything so asinine as try to boycott the scientists involved, but if I was at a dinner party with any of them and the subject of the name came up I would absolutely point out how ridiculous and annoying and even passively-condoning-of-evil it was.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (4, Funny)

Moridineas (213502) | about a year ago | (#43203903)

[I]f I was at a dinner party with any of them and the subject of the name came up I would absolutely point out how ridiculous and annoying and even passively-condoning-of-evil it was.

I bet you're awesome at dinner parties.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (1)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | about a year ago | (#43204187)

I used to be fairly passive and head nodding, my only rule was I was not going to lie if I was asked a direct question about what I think/feel/believe/do. Apparently, this level of hyperpolite tolerance does not sufficiently coddle their insecurities. The awkward moments will ALWAYS be there unless you are willing to not just passively conceal your beliefs, but lie about them as well. So why bother concealing them at all? I'm not saying abandon all tact. I make sure not to be rude or accusatory or especially emotional in any way, I just calmly state my view on the matter, often with a shrug. That this is still considered to be terribly offensive by many Christians (seriously, how the hell do they get worked up about someone as calm and reasonable and tolerant as Dawkins?) is all the more reason not to self-censor. To put it in a more Orwellian manner: saying aloud the words "Two plus two equals four" is usually prosaic and pointless... but not if there are a lot of people running around saying it equals three, and we need to be up in arms against those heretics who say it's five.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (1)

todrules (882424) | about a year ago | (#43204109)

There is a slight difference, in that no one (of any consequence) actually believes the Roman gods actually exist.

They do exist! And I'm offended that you say otherwise. Why do you think we named the planets after them?

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43204281)

Just as a counterpoint to your concerns, I think it's possible that having biblical symbolism re-purposed for secular use as mythological allegory will weaken the grip of bible-thumping fundie-nutjobs on the public conscious. By employing biblical symbolism the same way that enlightenment-era neoclassicism used Greek mythology --- which didn't create a new generation of Zeus-worshippers --- the Christian-centric impact of the terms is undermined by a different message. This example subconsciously subverts the original intent of the Lazarus story from "What can bring stuff back from the dead? Jesus!" to "What can bring stuff back from the dead? Science!".

I say this as a Christian (though not of the bible-thumping-fundie variety), who doesn't particularly want to see Christian symbolism reduced to generic secular allegory. If I don't want this to happen, then perhaps you (as a militant atheist) should.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43204681)

And what if Christians started complaining about the way their stories are being co-opted for things like this? Would it suddenly be a wonderful idea?

Do you never say "Oh my God!" or "Jesus Christ!"?

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43205051)

I dunno... I kind of like the Jurribbit Park idea...

It is funny how anything referencing religion brings out the pro-religion and anti-religion zealots with their "you must believe exactly as i believe or you're wrong" mentality. Both extreme stances are anti-intellectual, but that doesnt change the fact that the "Jurribbit" idea is still funny..

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202945)

You would prefer "zombie frog"? I'm offended by your anti-Christian bigotry.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203211)

For me Lazarus is a reference to Batman and R'as al Ghul, not some silly archaic book.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (1)

macson_g (1551397) | about a year ago | (#43203241)

I too am surprised they named it after Archbishop Lazarus. And I don't like you calling Diablo a "fairy-tale"!

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (1)

scuzzlebutt (517123) | about a year ago | (#43203619)

As a fellow atheist, I could not care less what name was picked for this project. Yes, the story of Lazarus is clearly a myth. So what? We all know what supposedly happened to him and I think it's quite apt.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203823)

And as a sane person, I take offense to your reactionary "OMG SOMEONE USED A WORD THAT IS VAGUELY RELATED TO RELIGION" horseshit.

You can be an atheist, and that's fine. What's not fine is being an atheist and preaching it as a religion. Just like I don't want Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists in my face, I don't want you denouncing all of them in my face either.

Just keep it to yourself and shut up already.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203875)

Quit whining you over-sensitive bastard.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (1)

minogully (1855264) | about a year ago | (#43203931)

The interesting thing here is that if you didn't already know about the story of Lazarus from the Bible, you wouldn't be offended.

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (1)

todrules (882424) | about a year ago | (#43204025)

So, I take it the names Mars, Venus, and Jupiter somehow offend you, too?

Re:LAZARUS?! Really?! (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about a year ago | (#43204471)

So, I take it the names Mars, Venus, and Jupiter somehow offend you, too?

Naah, they're fine with me. After all, why not name a really burning hot planet after a burning hot goddess?

Then again, if Jupiter's got that one red eye, maybe it should have been named for Odin...

Cautionary tale (1)

dcmcilrath (2859893) | about a year ago | (#43202503)

As long as they aren't cloning any Raptors, or giving them hover-boards, I think we're OK.

Re:Cautionary tale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203849)

I'd love to see a velociraptor on a hover board...

obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202517)

okay, okay Commander Shepard. But you must get in the line!

Re:obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202691)

"The records show that you're dead."
"Yeah, everyone's been saying that. It's a real pain in my ass!"

Apologies to Bioware for probably mincing the quote.


Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202523)

Some of the eggs spontaneously began to divide and grow to early embryo stage – a tiny ball of many living cells.
That's really cool. I hope they get a full specimen soon.

Next step: velociraptors.

Re:SCIENCE! (0, Offtopic)

Servercide (2820403) | about a year ago | (#43202613)

Next Step: Profit!

I for one... (1, Troll)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#43202537)

...welcome out new amphibian overlords.

Re:I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202639)

Jurassic Park here we go.

Re:I for one... (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year ago | (#43203145)

The aliens of V were reptilian.

Similar story posted on Friday (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year ago | (#43202551)

Re:Similar story posted on Friday (3, Funny)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about a year ago | (#43202579)

They cloned it.

What about mitochondrial DNA? (5, Interesting)

Annirak (181684) | about a year ago | (#43202607)

This is the thing I still don't get about cloning extinct species. The mitochondria are also part of the organism, but they don't seem seem to ever get taken into account when there is talk of cloning. If you take the mitochondria from one species and the nuclear DNA from another species, what do you get? You could easily argue that you get a sort of hybrid species, which is not quite the same as either parent species.

Re:What about mitochondrial DNA? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43202827)

Remember that "species" is a surprisingly loose concept. You could define species as organisms who can successfully mate to produce fertile offspring, that's a close definition for sexually reproducing organisms. But there'd be no way to test that here.

Re:What about mitochondrial DNA? (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about a year ago | (#43203041)

Most species have very small mitochondrial DNA. For humans it's about 16k. Frog mito DNA is just about 23k. Besides, mitochondria are fairly self-contained.

Functional equivalence can/may be sufficient. (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43203291)

I was thinking the same question, but realized that if you think of the functional application of the mitochondria then it is like modular software. You can replace a function or submodule with another function or submodule/subroutine which implements the same functionality in a different way/algorithm/technique. And, as long as the new routine has no side-effects [] (affecting items not specifically called via the API / calling module variables), then it's a valid replacement that "cannot be detected otherwise".
In other words, if you can swap out a different mitochondrial family for the usual one, as long as there are no other "side effects", you have a good facsimile of the original. It's like being able to swap out a heart or part of a lung or one kidney in a person with transplant surgery: functional equivalence is sometimes sufficient without exact equivalence being necessary.

Re:Functional equivalence can/may be sufficient. (1)

plus_M (1188595) | about a year ago | (#43204099)

This analogy isn't really appropriate. Organisms are not programs, and the operation of DNA and proteins cannot be considered something along the lines of an API call. Life is an emergent phenomenon, and mutations that do nothing but change the rate at which proteins get phosphorylated can cause diseases as complicated as cancer [] . This is particularly true of developing organisms. We don't really have a firm grasp on how differences in mitochondrial DNA can affect the growth of organisms, so we can't say with certainty that these "Lazarus" frogs can truly be considered an extinct species brought back to life.

Re:What about mitochondrial DNA? (2)

Balanced (959223) | about a year ago | (#43203683)

The endosymbiotic theory suggests that mitochondria are--or at least were--a separate species themselves. That they developed from bacteria co-opted by other cells as power plants, eventually becoming the stripped-down symbionts we know today. It would explain why they have their own DNA, and I'd say it would make them (mostly) irrelevant to determination of the species they inhabit.

Re:What about mitochondrial DNA? (2)

tylikcat (1578365) | about a year ago | (#43203861)

I'd be interested to see any variances from mitochondria... but really, there might be all kinds of epigentic effects that we currently have no way of tracking. We tend to obsess a lot about DNA as such, but it's becoming more and more clear that transcriptional regulation happens at many levels, and we don't understand all of them.

Re:What about mitochondrial DNA? (3, Informative)

Jaktar (975138) | about a year ago | (#43204211) []

There was a TED talk filmed in February that discusses what they are doing, who is doing it, and why. He does briefly mention what you're talking about. In short: Nature doesn't do things exactly the same way every time either, so don't worry about it.*

* I'm summing up quite a bit. Just watch the video (~20 mins).

none of the embryos survived longer than a few day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202609)

In order to really call it a clone it should have survived longer and actually produced a living frog.
As it stands now it is just a bunch of cells damaged to an unknown degree of severity.

Wait a sec.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202617)

When did the 1970s become 40 years ago?

Re:Wait a sec.... (2)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | about a year ago | (#43202641)

I know, right? Best as I can figure, it happened sometime in 2010, but I still can't wrap my brain around it.

If this research pans out then the 2020s might become the Jurassic era. Then you'll really see some heads spin.

Re:Wait a sec.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202761)

I'd rather see the Elephant Bird [] come back. KFC would love to cook a 9-foot bird that tastes like chicken.

Curious as to the Effectiveness (4, Insightful)

johnnyb (4816) | about a year ago | (#43202619)

It will be interesting to see how effective this is. DNA is not the sole source of information for an organism's morphology. Nuclear transfer has shown some traits which are not dependent on DNA. It will be very interesting to compare the morphology of the final organism to the original, extinct species.

Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202629)

It's easier to revive an extinct frog than to make a working Pascal development environment for Linux.

Fear not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202643)

No one panic, to keep them under control they will only clone female frogs.

DNA bottlenecks (5, Insightful)

kpoole55 (1102793) | about a year ago | (#43202645)

As with jaguars, this will be considered one of the worst DNA bottlenecks of all time depending, of course, on how many specimens he kept and how many can become viable. If only the one then they'll all be clones even if they start breeding on their own. just think, we may produce thousands of these in a controlled environment only to have them wiped out completely when they run into a bacteria, virus or fungus to which they have no resistance but some other variant member of the species might. it would kill them all and we'd have to start from scratch. Such will be the case with the Tasmanian tiger as well, a wonderful achievement at bringing back an extinct species and with all the fragility of fine porcelain to be kept safe, admired and protected from any outside danger.

Yes, I know there are spontaneous mutations but they take time and these specimens likely won't have that time.

Re:DNA bottlenecks (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43202699)

Clearly, we have to irradiate the specimens in order to make them mutate faster and generally toughen their moral fiber!

Re:DNA bottlenecks (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43202783)

But think of all the cool housepets we can have in the future!

Re:DNA bottlenecks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202855)

We only had the DNA of two parents and we turned out fine. After all there was just adam and eve!

Re:DNA bottlenecks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202943)

There are safety mechanisms for mutation that slow it way down in large creatures for the sake of preventing parental rejection. Turning such a thing off would both allow for much faster evolution between generations, BUT at a cost of a less stable genome, and generally higher chance of cancers, abnormalities and even outright genome failure if it went too far too fast.
Such suffering for One would be too unethical even for my liking when infection vectors could be introduce in a stable controlled environment at a higher rate than normal. That would force evolution a naturally quicker defence as opposed to us playing with things we only fairly recently came to know about.

To qoute the great Ian Malcolm (4, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year ago | (#43202687)

Oh, yeah, "oooh" "ahhhh", that's how it always starts. But then later there's running and screaming.

Re:To qoute the great Ian Malcolm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202787)

I'm wondering if we have become to dumb to live..

1984, Atlas Shrugged, Jurassic Park, these are books, not blueprints.

Re:To qoute the great Ian Malcolm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203205)

That's a bit generous to Atlas Shrugged, isn't it?

Re:To qoute the great Ian Malcolm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43204303)

the Lazarus Project team took fresh donor eggs from the Great Barred Frog, another Australian ground-swelling frog that is distantly related to the gastric-brooding frog

I'd rather not stick around to see what comes out of the swelling.

Gaps? (1)

mr_jrt (676485) | about a year ago | (#43202733)

I wonder if they filled the gaps in the gene sequences with DNA from dino-saaaaaurs...

They had gaps in the gene sequence ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202795)

... but filled them in with dinosaur DNA.

Intelligent Design (4, Insightful)

CMYKjunkie (1594319) | about a year ago | (#43202813)

In all of the arguments between evolution vs intelligent design as to why creatures exist, it's interesting to see how humans seem to be able to take on the role of intelligent designer to decide what species will not become or remain extinct from evolution. One can imagine a future where many creatures on the planet are "designed" to exist. Meaning, humans decide to re-breed (re-institute? re-animate?) extinct species while deciding others should be allowed to remain extinct.

Of course: WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong

Re:Intelligent Design (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43202963)

There are no such arguments.
Intelligent design is just a smoke screen to get creationism into schools.

Re:Intelligent Design (-1, Flamebait)

zifn4b (1040588) | about a year ago | (#43204185)

There are no such arguments. Intelligent design is just a smoke screen to get creationism into schools.

You are very ignorant. Just because organized religion has its shortcomings isn't a reason to bash a much more sound explanation of the the origin of the universe. Intelligent Design is not the same thing as creationism or religion. You, sir, need to understand meta thinking. You know the system outside the system? Outside the box my friend. :) Our universe has a set of constant properties. Intelligent Design merely asks the question "Where did these properties come from?" Who decided there was gravity, electromagnetism, photons, protons, neutrons, neutrinos, quantum entanglement and any number of different fundamental building blocks that are all finely in balance with each other to allow this universe to have existed for billions of years in amazing harmonious balance.

Let me guess my Atheist friend, it all emerged from chaos. Where did the chaos come from? Report back when you have a better explanation than a very intelligent Architect that has intelligence so vastly superior to ours that we cannot even begin to comprehend it. I patiently await your response.

Re:Intelligent Design (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year ago | (#43203011)

And yet many of us find it ludicrous that someone could have done the same thing to us...

Re:Intelligent Design (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43203099)

Yes, because we've already got a much more sensible explanation for life on Earth that doesn't require an outside intelligence for which there is no evidence.

Re:Intelligent Design (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203539)

Oh, I must have missed that one. Last I heard, there was an untested theory of a big bang which itself opens up more questions than it answers. The only definitive thing we can say is "at some point something happened and now we are here".

Re:Intelligent Design (1)

abuelos84 (1340505) | about a year ago | (#43203953)

Yes, the Famous Theory of Big Bang for the Origin of Species by Georcharles Darlemaitre....

Re:Intelligent Design (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about a year ago | (#43204367)

And yet many of us find it ludicrous that someone could have done the same thing to us...

It's not that it's ludicrous or couldn't have happened; it's that we have no reason to think it might have happened. There's no evidence for which ID fits and provides an explanation for which a hundred other half-baked ideas don't fit equally well.

When an idea doesn't have enough going for it to even get off the ground, nobody cares whether it's ludicrous or possible. ID has not yet been evaluated in those terms. Why would it?


Furthermore, it's a bit ad homeneim, but ID is often suggested by extremely ignorant people (literally over a century out-of-date) who offer it as as an alternative to evolution, rather than say, as an alternative to panspermia. This tends to discredit it. At least as an actual Earth-life-origin idea, it could conceivable become a theory some day (probably not, but there's no reason to rule it out; there's no evidence which contradicts it yet). As a species origin idea, though, it really is ludicrous as we already have learned that it is wrong. Whether it could happen or not is immaterial, since it didn't happen; evolution explains why dogs and cats are so different that they can't interbreed, and ID doesn't explain that at all.

The mountains of evidence for evolution put it right up there past gravity itself. Seriously, at this point it looks like we'll disprove gravity before we disprove evolution.

If people want ID to be taken seriously some day (maybe Thetans really did fire a torpedo at the earth 4 billion years ago, a torpedo full of Thetan-designed articial bacterium-like machines which use Thetan-written DNA and Thetan-designed ribosomes, etc, machines that the Thetan supercomputer simulations predicted were likely to eventually evolve into multicellular life) then they need to stop trying to confuse the public about evolution.

Members of that same maliciously-misinformed public might end up including the one person who could have conceivably had been motivated enough to go looking for a scrap of 4 billion year old torpedo casing. But noooo... nobody ever checks out the idea, because every single time someone mentions ID, all they say are totally stupid things. ID discussions are more reliably stupid than emails which mention "Viagra" in the subject line. So ID disappears behind the spam filter and no one will ever go looking for the Thetan torpedo casing. And it's all because some malicious fuckwits hate the idea of children learning about evolution, so they attack it by attacking all of science, giving ID a reputation as anti-science.

Let's stop doing that. If you ever spot anyone talking about ID as a theory (or worse, as a theory which competes with evolution!), try to talk some sense into them. Saying totally stupid things will only delay ID ever being developed into a theory. Not that it's worth while to do that; it's probably not, but we just don't know for sure. Destruction and misinformation cause harm, get it?

This would turn Intelligent Design into a theory (4, Funny)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about a year ago | (#43203591)

Of course: WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong

On the other hand: WhatCouldPossiblyGoHilarious.

Suppose over the next hundred years, humans were to start doing this, and some of the resulting speciments got into wild. Then we had a very serious catastrophe (nuclear war, asteroid strike, etc) resulting in 1) we stopped doing it 2) (nearly) all the cultural records were lost, so there are no documents explaining what FooLab did in 2041.

Fast forward six millennia, to the year 8013. Scientists would have rediscovered evolution, but unlike today's situation, some of the evidence wouldn't quite add up right. They would see, from looking at DNA evidence, that something very interesting happened in a few thousand years ago. Someone would get an idea, and they would be able to formulate tests to falsify or confirm a brand new theory, called Intelligent Design, and they'd confirm it. Actually, they would probably call it something less stupid, but it really would be an actual theory, in every sense of the word.

Then, miraculously, in 8016, someone finds a cache of ancient documents. It looks like some storage device the year 2016 survived, and they're able to pull some internet discussion threads off it. They see people talking about something called "Intelligent Design" and something else about the world being six thousand years old. Since it's an incomplete document cache, they have no idea where the 2013 "Intelligent Design" came from, that it was made up, rather than being derived from evidence or related to science somehow. The 8016ers have no idea where the 2013 idea of a 6000 year old world came from, they just know that people sometimes mentioned it, usually mockingly.

You're in 8016 and you learn this. 6000 years ago, people were talking about some things that you know to be true, in a limited form. (Most of life isn't only 6000 years old, but some of it is. Presumably the 2016 discussions, for which you have incomplete records, were about similarly limited samples.) What do you think?

You think "oh shit, people have gone through this before, and something horrible keeps happening every 6000 years," and you start building bomb shelters. You also start looking at the DNA evidence for an echo, for a 12000 year old genetic node, although you don't find it. But there are plenty of ways to come up with good conspiracy theories for why it's not there. Maybe the 2013 people realized that the 4000-BC-genetically-engineered creatures were responsible for the 4000 BC nuclear war, and hunted them (nearly) to extinction. You need to start exterminating the 21st century abominations now .. or wait, is that exactly what went wrong in prior cycles, and what causes the bigger catostrophe? OMG by head hurts. What are we going to do? WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO!!?!?!!

Re:Intelligent Design (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about a year ago | (#43203893)

Step 1: Perfect cloning.
Step 2: Repeal Endangered Species Act
Step 3: Club baby seals
Step 4: ???
Step 5: Profit!

Re:Intelligent Design (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43205063)

There is no endangered species list, just a list of animals Chuck Norris allows to live...

Shepard (4, Informative)

Azure Flash (2440904) | about a year ago | (#43202819)

Shouldn't we have saved the Lazarus project for when Commander Shepard needs it to come back and save the universe again?

Wrex (1)

lattyware (934246) | about a year ago | (#43202917)

Not going to lie, this was my first thought.

Re:Shepard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202989)

Don't worry frogs only live a few years, so we;ll only need to wait out 70 or so years for the copyright to expire.

Like most new tech.... (1)

Njoyda Sauce (211180) | about a year ago | (#43202825)

This is being overly hyped before the actual results most of us would consider significant. From TFA: "Although none of the embryos survived longer than a few days, the work is encouraging for others looking to clone a variety of currently-extinct animals". I realize that there may be significant steps taken with this attempt, but the real success for most people is when of these things is hopping around.

Re:Like most new tech.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203555)

Welcome to the new scientific fact.

Does it eat Cane Toads? (1)

fygment (444210) | about a year ago | (#43202929)

Yeah a new home grown invasive species !! Reaching back in time to create the next pestilence :)

Re:Does it eat Cane Toads? (3, Insightful)

dittbub (2425592) | about a year ago | (#43202971)

indeed. i'd be more comfortable if they were cloning dinosaurs. the big ones we have a hard time NOT killing off.

Uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202949)

I am sure it will croak soon. (4, Funny)

goffster (1104287) | about a year ago | (#43202973)


Thylacine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203063)

The Tazmanian Tiger needs cloned.

Immediately heard these lines in my head... (2)

iapetus (24050) | about a year ago | (#43203143)

I recall the time they found those fossilized mosquitoes
And before long, they were cloning DNA
Now I'm being chased by some irate veloceraptors
Well, believe me... this has been one lousy day

Jurassic Park is frightning in the dark
All the dinosaurs are running wild
Someone shut the fence off in the rain
I admit it's kinda eerie
But this proves my chaos theory
And I don't think I'll be coming back again
Oh no

I cannot approve of this attraction
'Cause getting disemboweled always makes me kinda mad
A huge tyrannosaurus ate our lawer
Well, I suppose that proves... they're really not all bad

Jurassic Park is frightning in the dark
All the dinosaurs are running wild
Someone let T. Rex out of his pen
I'm afraid those things'll harm me
'Cause they sure don't act like Barney
And they think that I'm their dinner, not their friend
Oh no

Jurassic Park is frightning in the dark
All the dinosaurs are running wild
What a crummy weekend this has been
Well, this sure ain't no E-ticket
Think I'll tell them where to stick it
'Cause I'm never coming back this way again
Oh no... oh no

Good news, everyone! (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43203155)

Now there's no need to save the polar bears.

Why would Australia do this? (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year ago | (#43203605)

I realize that Australia has had some unique species but given the fact that the Cane Toad is threatening to wipe out native species [] and that people are having mass cane toad whacking parties. [] Why in the hell would they want to bring back another toad, er frog? I mean shouldn't they be spending their energies in coming up with a crocodile that eats cane toads or cats that have 5 inch saber like claws that could kill them? or maybe just an ad campaign "Cane Toad, it's what's for dinner mate!"

  This just seems so counter intuitive on so many levels.

Re:Why would Australia do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43204449)

Oh, and cats with saber-like claws won't provide any other sort of lasting harm to the ecosystem, of course not.

A dodo, please! (1)

dirac3000 (1645947) | about a year ago | (#43203697)

Please clone a dodo, apparently they tasted very good!

Next the Dodo: NOT Dinosaurs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203711)

So the default response amongst the general public is likely to be "bring back dinosaurs!".
I object. We don't know what dinosaurs taste like.

On the other hand, there is historical evidence that Dodos were driven extinct because they were DELICIOUS.

So... ship some samples from the London Museum where there is a preserved Dodo or two, to the Ozzie scientists and get some Dodos going so we can put Dodo burger back on the menu.

Wild (0)

flying_fortress (2657331) | about a year ago | (#43204065)

It looks like none of the embryos survived more than a few days.

Ethical questions abound here - like drones and all new technology there is a wild west period before the dumb masses catch up with what the super boffins are up to. For some reason, I don't mind them trying to revive frogs but once you get into mammalian projects like mammoths and neanderthals I think the possibility of creating tortured "elephant nan" type creatures should eliminate those projects from consideration. There would be about 10 years of monstrous failures before they could perfect that technique with any genome, and they need to face the "should we (answer: no)" questions instead of the "can we" thrill seeking imo. Like imagine the Neanderthal being successfully cloned, carried to term by a surrogate and delivered. Even if it doesn't come out of the womb like a chernobyl baby, which is like a 0.00072% chance, imagine being a minority of #one#. That would be psychologically hellish for a highly sentient being imo.

I don't know :(

doctor who episode (1)

samsonov (581161) | about a year ago | (#43204889)

All I could think about was season 3 episode 6 of Doctor Who. Egads.No thanks.
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