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Cloning Another Extinct Species

CmdrTaco posted more than 15 years ago | from the back-from-the-dead dept.

Science 175

Tekmage sent us a wired article about scientists cloning cloning an extinct tiger. We mentioned a similiar case involving a bird awhile back, but its getting more common. I knew that triceretops DNA I've been keeping in my fridge all summer would come in handy. It'll be on E-Bay next week.

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Semi-related links (1)

psilocybe-influence (87208) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686229)

Just a list of a couple of films that I have seen that include something to do with cloning or DNA problems that give ya some ethical/scientific thoughts about cloning and 'messing with life'.

"Species" and "Species II".
"The Thing".
"Jurassic Park" + "The Lost World".

Anyone know any decent sci-fi books or other films... feel free to add em on...

p-i.

Re:cane toads any one? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686230)

But this species did exist 133 years ago... It isn't like the world changes so drastically in 133 that the animal wouldn't survive...

The one question I have to ask is why? Why do we need to bring this animal back into existance when they describe it as "an alley dog". Why not bring back some of the supposed beautiful creatures of the past?

Re:Slow Dodos (Re:A better idea...) (2)

Foogle (35117) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686231)

So, let me asked this: If a bird like the Dodo was hunted to extiction by ANY other animal, would we consider it to be natural selection? I mean, obviously the Dodo was incapable of defending itself againt human hunters, but just how is that different than defending itself against another predator like an alligator or something? Did the Dodo die out because we were *unfair* in hunting it so much, or did it die out because it was just a really dumb bird? I'm serious - maybe it was just time for the Dodo to check out. If not from us, than from something else.

A different approach than cloning... (1)

Nino the Mind Boggle (10910) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686242)

...was from a SF short story I read years ago (and I can't remember squat about the story, but this one bit really stuck in my mind). They took the sperm from one of the frozen mammoths (or are they mastodons?) in Siberia and impregnated a couple of elephants. (This assumes they're close enough to cross-breed, of course.) Then they were cross-breeding the offspring with the most mammoth-like characteristics in order to "purify" the genetic material. Sure, not as "cool" as cloning, but I thought it was an interesting thought.

Re:What about Hitler? (1)

Foogle (35117) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686243)

Well yes, that's true - they would not necessarily be anything like their originaly copies, psychologically. However, there is no hard scientific evidence to show us whether personality is something you are born with or aquire through experience. Most research tends to support the theory that it is a combination of both. So, if that were the case, a clone of Hitler might have some of his traits, but not necessarily all of them, based on its own life experiences.

Re:cane toads any one? (0)

hobbit (5915) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686244)

But this species did exist 133 years ago... It isn't like the world changes so drastically in 133 that the animal wouldn't survive...

Is this flamebait? Or have you failed to notice that species sometimes have very localised ecosystems?

The one question I have to ask is why? Why do we need to bring this animal back into existance when they describe it as "an alley dog". Why not bring back some of the supposed beautiful creatures of the past?

So I guess it was flamebait. Someone moderate?

Why not? (1)

KaosDG (85348) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686245)

Of course, there will be issues regarding this. Many people have seen the movies based on it, and many can see the problems with it. But it's not a T-Rex or an alien species. It's an animal that was put to extinction by mankinds own selfish stupidity. Thylacine has interacted with mankind before, it should have no problem adjust to a simple 133 years of change (1866-1999).
Why not use the technology (that probably killed some of these animals) to bring them back? It's understandable we should let natural extinction alone (Dinosaurs, mammoths, etc) but why not try to right our wrongs?

Re:simulate DNA growth? (1)

Foogle (35117) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686246)

I don't think we have the technology to fully process the information found in DNA and simulate what it would create. Besides, you couldn't clone an animal like the T-Rex from just his DNA, could you? I was under the impression that you would need some sort of host-mother, like was used in Dolly? So, on those lines, could someone describe how a cloned Dodo bird would be "born" ?

Re: I rated it. (0)

Icepick_ (25751) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686247)

And I think it's funny.

I use my moderation points to influence the posts that I would want to read, had some one else moderated them. And of course to filter out the stuff that I don't find intresting or relevant.

That's the way that moderation should work. Generally it does.

If enough people disagree with my moderation, it will get moderated down to -1.

But whatever. I still laughed when I read it. I'm betting that others did too.

They had film of it... (1)

Casshan (4998) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686248)


I saw on cable awhile back a grainy black and white film of the last living tasmanian tiger, just walking back in forth in its cage.

Had to be one of the most depressing things I ever saw.

I can't imagine anyone saying that it is not worth bringing this animal back after watching this video.

Re:What about Hitler? (1)

Praxxus (19048) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686249)

Bah! Humans are a sum total of their genetic makeup and their environment. To REALLY re-make someone, you'd have to replicate all the outside factors that acted on them after they were born.

Good luck. :P

--

If you do sell something that dumb on eBay... (0)

KingJawa (65904) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686250)

please, please email me about it. I'm running out of funny eBay auctions :)

Re:A better idea... (2)

axolotl (1659) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686251)

This is old tech now. It's been done with Quaggas (no, not the beasts from rogue that start appearing after the 6th level or so and killing you, I mean the strange mix-of-horse-and-zebra things that used to live in S. Africa.) They now have a breeding population of about 60 (IIRC) and with selective breeding they're getting more Quagga-like every generation. They reckon purestrain Quaggas are maybe 5 years away (also IIRC).

A better idea... (3)

Doctor Dark (87531) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686254)

...would be to re-create the dodo. It became extinct because we ate them all. They must have tasted great! Bring them back, I want to eat some.

Actually, it's not a tiger. (4)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686256)

The Tasmanian "tiger" is actually a marsupial, not a feline of any sort. It's more closely related to the kangaroo than a cat.

Still a major achievement if they can pull it off

Re:A better idea... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1686258)

Bah it would prolly taste like chicken anyways.

clone! (1)

darklink (79588) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686260)

will this stuff get up to the clone wars in many scifi books , and the first wave on tv. could we do this to hurt our selfve more. should there be laws on cloning. i think it is great that we are getting extinced speices back , but how is this any going to last , being clones of one another ,they are all susptibale to the same plages , and all. we will see i think

im not the clone he is

How about bringing back the ethical Business exec (2)

_J_ (30559) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686262)


Oooops, sorry. They never existed.

J:)

Infant/Embryo DNA (3)

kieran (20691) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686264)

I don't see any mention in the article that they have infant/embryo DNA samples to clone from, however. I was under the impression that one of the lessons learnt from Dolly the Sheep and similar is that if you clone from adult DNA, you have problems caused by the fact the DNA is already "aged", and is no long the information required to create an individual from the normal starting point (ie, shortly after fertilization).

But I do wish that the media would stop pushing the idea that a clone might be created with an intact set of memories, a complete person! That sort of information simply isn't stored in DNA.

Cloning for fun and profit ... (1)

RNG (35225) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686265)

While I generally have my reservations about cloning, I think this is (finally) a development/use of cloning that I can applaud without going into all sorts of moral contortions.

Would it not be great if the we could use this technology to save the threatened species from extinction. It doesn't look like we (the human
species) will stop destroying the planet we live on anytime soon. Maybe this would at least enable us to keep the (potentially very useful DNA) of endangered (or soon to be extinct) species around, for fun (zoos, etc) and (of course) profit. I'd much rather see a cloned tiger in a zoo than not to see one at all. Of course I'd much rather see them in the wild, but I really doubt that that's an option our kids will have in a few decades ...

Re:clone! (1)

einstein (10761) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686268)

The extinct species they are trying to bring back weren't wiped out by plagues. They were killed by human actions, whether that was killing them for food or taking away their habitat. These animals functioned quite well...

the only possible problem I can foresee is the massive inbreeding, since only a few genetic samples are available... but that never seemed to be a problem when they restored the bison to Yellowstone National Park...they have herds of thousands upon thousands of bison there that all come back from the 70 they rounded up save the species.

I hope they make it work.

cane toads any one? (3)

Shin Dig (27213) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686269)

Cloning of extinct species seems like potentially a really dangerous idea. The reason most things go extinct is because their ecological niche is complete destroyed. This also means that their predators have gone away or adapted to eat something else. The cane toads [austmus.gov.au] in Australia are the classic example of putting a species into an ecosystem that really is not expected them. What a disaster that has been.

Re:That's evolution! (1)

Wah (30840) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686271)

Maybe this time she'll give fish a turn at ruling the planet.

70% of the planet and a huge majority of it's livable space (3d, not just surface area) are underwater, so whose to say that they don't already. I was just reading a story the other day about dolphins off the coast of madagascar with nuclear strike capabilities.

It was intended to be funny. (1)

Doctor Dark (87531) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686272)

You make many fine, serious points, which are important. But it was funny. Try not to let the danger the planet is in make you lose your sense of humour.

Will you see the irony? (1)

richnut (15117) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686273)

When the ranching concerns bring back a cloned species just to mass produce it for your local meat counter? When Tyson brings back the dodo and KFC has fried or rotisserie dodo? They're certainly not going to bring them back only for science..

-Rich

Don't believe the hype (1)

foul (89373) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686274)

It's sad to read all the hyped stories about cloning, including their sometimes catastrophic so-called forecasts. I'd like to see some more reflective discussions about the subject instead of the parrot-like announcements copied from non-authoritive sources; 'next they are cloning this and that etc...'. It looks like scientists are playing the role of priests 'explaining' scientific pseudo-truth, which a lot of people want to believe in. Fundamental problems are being discarded as technical hurdles, rrrrrright. Everybody making a living doing research will recognize this. Regarding the use of cloning to prevent species from becoming extinct: In my opinion the first thing responsible for extinction is loss of habitat (for example due to cultivation of land by humans). If one doesn't tackle that, you are only working on the symptoms. Second, for a specie to survive it needs a rich and diverse gene pool. Simply growing a bunch of clones won't do, even an idiot can understand that. Btw, has it occurred to less mentally impaired that mapping the genome is not equivalent to understanding the working mechanism (even if that is a sensible, although 19th century, paradigm)? Simply recording DNA sequences and associating them with functionality or form is not even close to grasping the syntax or symantics of the DNA 'languange' (my preferred paradigm), which complexity might be profound. It had a looooong time to evolve, ya know. Treat science with a bit more respect, and scientists with a bit less pleaze. Ivo

Re:One obstacle... Tasmania (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1686275)

We dont want this dam, we dont want this pulp mill, we dont want to legalise homosexuality, etc etc.

In actual fact, the Tasmanians wanted the dam more than anyone else, and were rather annoyed when a more ecologically minded federal government stopped it.

As for the homosexuality thing, well, rednecks are rednecks...

Re:Slow Dodos (Re:A better idea...) (3)

Jburkholder (28127) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686276)

That's an interesting point, I guess the difference between humans and other predators is that we have the capability to understand the difference between excessively hunting a species to extinction and just catching the next meal.

If a pack of hungry aligators jumped on a boat and went to the habitat of the dodo and just gorged themselves on the easy prey, no - I don't think I'd judge them as harshly as humans who did the same thing, because the humans _should_ have the ability to understand the consequences.

You could argue that the dodo was ill-suited for survival and that their time was over. You could also argue that the dodo (like any living thing) existed in an ecological system where their continued presence was the result of some self-sustaining cycle and that their presence was beneficial. In other words, even though they were flightless and had no evolutionary developed skill for evasion of predators because there had been no predatious pressure, they still were a part of a balanced eco-system where their presence was beneficial (eating overgrowth, producing fertilizer, etc).

Also - going back to the first post, I think it was funny. Tasteless, but funny.

Re:The rating of funny on the post is ... (1)

axolotl (1659) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686277)

Lighten up. It can be funny and twisted at the same time. Sort of HHOS.

Doesn't matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1686278)

As far as I know, they haven't even attempted to clone Huia birds (or any other extinct species) yet, they're still arguing the ethics of it. Personally, I don't think it matters much, I figure their chances of success are somewhere between fat and slim.

I suspect about 10 to 20 years from now, they'll be able to inspect the DNA in the samples they have and realize they were too damaged to use anyway.

However, I suspect about 20 years after that, they'll probably be able to repair or resequence the DNA to create viable embryos of extinct species. Whether they'll be able to justify it ethically is a different question.

Bad idea. (1)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686279)

I don't like it one bit - this animal is extinct for a reason. What's worse, this animal won't have any of it's kind to "raise" it. Humans would be a sorry lot indeed if we couldn't pass key knowledge onto our offspring - other animals are the same way. The results are completely unpredictable if we try to reanimate long-dead species and reintegrate them into the ecosystem.

What next - bring back plants from the Jurassic period? We've never had contact with them... they could attact some heretofore unknown disease, or be particularily deadly to us.

We shouldn't meddle with the affairs of mother nature - this is her lab, not ours. And history has proven time and time again that incompetence breeds massive failures - sometimes fatal. Just watch any AOLer on Usenet to get a good idea of what clueless people are capable of. What if we mess something up and can't repair it? Who are we going to go to for expertise - god? He's been on vacation for thousands of years. Good luck.

--

I believe it was snakes... (1)

Ekuman (82706) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686280)

I believe that it was snakes that killed off the Dodo birds, they somehow got there on boats or somesuch and systematically wiped out the population by eating the eggs.

Woolly Mammoths! (1)

Kerg (71582) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686291)


I just recently read an article of a Japanese-Russian research group that's trying to bring mammoths back to earth.

Re:The rating of funny on the post is ... (1)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686292)

Whoever rated this as funny should have his moderator rights revoked for a month.

This is _NOT_ funny. We have destroyed so many species by either eating them or by declaring them as evil that even the top 10 list can make anyone sick.

Even if the australians do not succed it will still be great if they try. And hopefully be followed by someone else to reincarnate:
1. The dodo (Mauricius)
2. The travelling pigeon (USA)
3. The Berentz cow (Russia/USA)
And many many more

And what I hope is that some anti-cloning maniacs following/seeking divine guidance will not try to throw a couple of molotov cocktails in the lab that do this work.



And yet, life goes on....

Contrary to what some whackos would like to believe, the world isn't going to end just because we wipe out a few thousand species. It hasn't yet and it won't anytime soon.

Kintanon

No, no, no, no, NO! (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686293)

Please let's not advance the consumerist mentality of humankind any further than it already is.

If we think along the lines of, "It doesn't matter if we cut down the rainforest, because we can re-make the gorillas somewhere else", we're going to lose sight of why it makes much more sense to live with nature than to fight it constantly.

I hear this argument from Monsanto: "Well, the chemical agricultural revolution didn't work, and I know we said this last time, but this time, we really do have the answer, in this test tube right here..."

Pull the other one.

What we need is to step back and take a holistic approach. I'm not against cloning, but it treats the effect, not the cause.

Re:That's evolution! (1)

gnarphlager (62988) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686294)

Well, humans often give dolphins fish for free. I have to buy fish. Take away the equal opportunity for the two species to catch fish (and the dolphin is obviously the advantaged predator in that respect), then it looks like in at least one respect an aquatic based mammal seems to be in control ;-)

Re:That's evolution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1686295)

Or a Penguin

Re:A better idea... (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686296)

This is slightly different. This is fishing for genes from an extinct spicies in existing population. The russians did it in the 20-30 before the genetics there got banned. They actually succeded in fishing out a curtrently extinct wild horse subspecies out of the south-russian horse population. The problem is that the anti-genetics madness after that killed all the research (as well as some of the people working on it).

This is the reason for me posting as a major concern the fact that some idiot may throw a molotov in the lab. See my post above.

Re:Bad idea. (1)

KaosDG (85348) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686297)

Extinct for a reason? What reason would that be?
They were killed off by european settlers to protect sheep and chickens (which there were plenty of). They were killed off by wild dogs that were introduced into their own habitat, and they were killed off by foreign diseases. The reason they are extinct is because of our greed.
Read the fact sheet here [anca.gov.au] and please see my other post below.

Historical accounts of Dodo taste (3)

Lucius Lucanius (61758) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686298)

"Even though they described the bird as 'walchvogel' meaning
'disguting to eat' they certainly must have had fun
clobbering the clumsy creatures that waddled up to them
only to be hit on the head with a stout staff. In fact the
name Dodo comes from the Dutch 'Dodars' or 'Dodoor',
meaning a sluggard or a stupid fool. "

- This is from http://www.mauritius-canada.com/dodo/

Hmmm, I find myself getting increasingly fascinated by the Dodo and am reading all about it now.

L.

PS - That web site says:

"You are the 6,439th person visiting this page since March 1st, 1999". It will be fun to watch the slashdot effect. Hehehe. They won't know what hit them. Literally.

Read my lips.. (2)

Daniel (1678) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686299)

I--R--O--N--Y. S--A--T--I--R--E.

I suspect that the original poster *ARGEES* with you! His modest proposal is clearly a poke at the people who actually would think of such a thing (albiet probably not in so many words) -- if you don't get this, please go study a history of satire, starting with J. Swift.

Daniel

Re:Slow Dodos (Re:A better idea...) (2)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686300)

That isn't exactly a valid analogy, considering that with our technology we could hunt to extinction pretty much any large land animal we wanted to.

Besides, there really are good reasons for having large dumb docile animals: they're great for domestication. If you've read Guns, Germs, and Steel you'd know that a primary reason that native Austrailian and American cultures were so far behind their European invaders was that their ancestors had hunted to extinction most all the large herbivores native to their lands. We would all have a much greater variety of meat now if those ignorant hunters had the foresight that we now possess.

Re:Actually, it's not a tiger. (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686309)

It is my understanding that this animal is very much like a marsupial dog.

It's been a while, so I admit I could be wrong.

LK

Lets make an Egyptian happy! (1)

Jimhotep (29230) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686310)

Clone old King Tut. That boy would be rich.
He died thinking he would live again.

If I had the equipment and know how, I'd clone
myself.

Re:Infant/Embryo DNA (1)

Daniel (1678) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686311)

AFAIK this is not that much of a problem (except that it sucks for the individuals who are subjected to premature aging) as long as offspring are possible. The telomeres will be regenerated in the stem cells.

That said, having these critters reproduce seems fairly pointless -- the limited gene pool means that you won't really bring back a species, just have a few cute examples of what the world used to be like.

Daniel

Too late (1)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686312)

We shouldn't meddle with the affairs of mother nature - this is her lab, not ours.

It's too late. We already have meddled, and that's why a lot of species are extinct that might not be.

Heck, there's no way we can't "meddle" -- we're right smack in the middle of it. Anything we do -- or don't do -- will have an effect. What we need to do is get a lot better at thinking about what we're doing, and the effects thereof.

It's like Stewart Brand said: "We are as gods and might as well get good at it." Hell, we'd better get damn good at it, and quick, before we seriously fuck things up.

Re:Bad idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1686313)

Reminds me of the old woman who said, "Man wasn't meant to fly. He should stay home and watch TV like God intended".

Re:Infant/Embryo DNA (1)

god_of_the_machine (90151) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686314)

hmmm.... anyone with that plan would have to have a LOT of time on their hands to see what happens there. :) Try computer simulations of evolutionary models... they might do something within your great- x10^6 grandkids lifetime.

Re:cane toads any one? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686315)

It wasn't flamebait... They have very localised ecosystems, but they still can adapt, especially if they were raised in the new enviornment...

Re:Mass destruction and extinction is NATURAL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1686316)

Well dropping a bunch of nukes would certainly "affect the global environment". So yes "we are even capable of messing things up."

Re:I believe it was snakes... (1)

wynlyndd (5732) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686317)

This happened in Guam. Brown tree snakes were introduced and their reign of terror began. The native bird populations have dwindled while I cannot remember if any bird species have actually gone extinct yet due to the brown tree snake, many are threatened.

I remember a story (probably apochyrphal(sp)) about an early explorer who wrote in his journals how a curious dodo actually walked up to a boiling pot and climbed in. While probably not true, the dodo had no reason to fear the men since they had never had any predators before.

Still, I always wonder what to do when an endangered animal only eats endangered plants.

Going against nature is also part of nature (1)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686318)

Going against nature is also part of nature; the endless debate about man "interfering" with nature, and the idea that "man-made" equals "unnatural" are both old and wrong. Man is part of nature, and all of man's acts are part of nature. "Unnatural" and "supernatural" are meaningless words.

Bringing back an extinct species is not unnatural. On the contrary, is it both natural and good.

If the planet is viewed as a single living organism, as individual human cells and symbiotes make up our bodies, then humans are the brains of the operation. It's good that the planet is starting to learn to take care of itself.

Although I wouldn't personally mourn the extinction of the mosquito.

Not in the Dune universe! (1)

Spunk (83964) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686319)

But I do wish that the media would stop pushing the idea that a clone might be created with an intact set of memories, a complete person! That sort of information simply isn't stored in DNA.

Actually it is, but only the Bene Tleilax know how to keep the memories intact. And I don't think they will licensing their axlotl tanks any time soon.
--

Creationism: no place for it in high schools (1)

metawronka (90656) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686320)

Creationism: no place for it in high schools

Re:That's evolution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1686328)

What sort of moronic, sci-fi believing idiot are you. I bet you probably don't even have a life-sciences degree. Where do you get off making a statement like "cloning will destroy the human race". I think you have watched one to many episodes of Star Trek or Space 1999. Sorry, had to get that off my chest, now I can continue. We CAN control cloning, and one or more damn Tasmanian Tigers is NOT going to kill the entire human race. Please pull your head out of your nether regions and realize that unless we (the US) allows cloning and genetic manipulation some damn communist country or other unsavory (like CANADA or France) will beat us to the punch and destroy the free world.

This is good, but it doesn't go far enough. (1)

The Welcome Rain (31576) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686329)

I have long opined that citizens of the industrialized nations spend too much time complaining about trivial problems, since most of their big ones are solved, or nearly so. My proposed remedy was an infestation of Giant Flying Tigers (TM). That would get us focused on the things that really matter.

"You want to impose gun control? Screw that, gella. I need my gun for protection against Giant Flying Tigers(TM)!"

"I don't care if he sexually harassed you, Jim. The fact is, he's a fine hand in a pinch. Remember what he did when Giant Flying Tigers (TM) took over the building?"

"Leave the abortion clinic alone, Elsie. The news says there's a swarm of Giant Flying Tigers (TM) headed our way. First things first, dammit!"

But these aren't real tigers, and they don't fly, and they don't plan to release them in our cities. So what's the use?

--

Get a real job... Multimedia, even! (1)

Nehemiah S. (69069) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686330)

The irony here is that the conservationists and park ranger bureaucrats who failed to save the poor mutts the first time around are the ones who are fighting to prevent the scientists from giving them a second chance at failure.

More irony: The tasmanian tiger might not even be extinct! T'would be hi-larious if they spent $30M to bring back something that is alive and well in indonesia... (http://unmuseum.mus.pa.us/ttiger.htm)

And here is a nifty movie of the last tasmanian tiger. It's 1.5 megs and in quicktime. He is one ugly critter; watch him tear a rat to pieces.

http://vcserv.seas.smu.edu/tastour/fauna/tiger-t ext.html

I don't know how to make direct links work and I'm too lazy to look very hard. Sorry. Just cut and paste and then enjoy.

Scudder


Re:That's evolution! (1)

gnarphlager (62988) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686331)

Segfault is over here [segfault.org] . You seem to have gotten lost.

Re:cane toads any one? (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686332)

I doubt you have any idea whether or not this species can adapt to a new environment, especially after 133 years of human interference. Some species might be able to, some might not.

And whoever moderated my comment as flamebait, would you care to explain why?

I assumed that the first part of the comment was flamebait on account of a.) its lack of sensitivity towards creatures without the ability to adapt to generic changes humankind might make, and b.) the second part of the comment making the assertion that a species' right to live or die should be based on aesthetics, which smells of flamebait in my book.

thanks,
hamish

Re:Clone Janet Reno! (1)

Luxury P. Yacht (18865) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686333)

Good one!

Re:Infant/Embryo DNA (1)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686336)

Besides, how better to study evolution than to terraform a planet, stick a bunch of dinosaurs and cockroaches on it, and see what happens?


That's easy, first the Cockroaches kick the shit out of the dinosaurs, then they build spaceships, come back here, and eat us too!

Kintanon

Just follow the link... (2)

MacJedi (173) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686338)

Read all about the Tasmanian Tiger here [tased.edu.au]

Re:This is good, but it doesn't go far enough. (1)

Nehemiah S. (69069) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686339)

Ancient Aztec legend held that the end of the world would come when jaguars fell from the sky and ate everyone. They had specific holidays and sacrifices specifically designed to postpone this...

Scudder

Reintroducing extinct species (2)

Cironian (9526) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686347)

If they want to reintroduce the species (in the long term even), I hope they froze cells of enough different exemplars (100? Anyone here have an idea of how many different DNA samples you would need to create a healthy population?) or they will have to clone the same animal again and again which doesnt seem too useful to me.

the next extinct creature to clone... (3)

.pentai. (37595) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686348)

Yes folks, it's official, next month they are going to be even more adventurous, and bring back the ever dreaded Mac Clone.

After consulting with many MANY scientists, they decided it would be the ultimate test of science to Clone the Mac.

However, Apple seems to disagree...

(Note: this is a joke, all names and faces were left in tact because nobody is truly innocent.)

The rating of funny on the post is ... (2)

arivanov (12034) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686349)

Whoever rated this as funny should have his moderator rights revoked for a month.

This is _NOT_ funny. We have destroyed so many species by either eating them or by declaring them as evil that even the top 10 list can make anyone sick.

Even if the australians do not succed it will still be great if they try. And hopefully be followed by someone else to reincarnate:
1. The dodo (Mauricius)
2. The travelling pigeon (USA)
3. The Berentz cow (Russia/USA)
And many many more

And what I hope is that some anti-cloning maniacs following/seeking divine guidance will not try to throw a couple of molotov cocktails in the lab that do this work.

First Clone (2)

TheNetman (66704) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686350)

FIRST CLONE!!

I have taken the DNA from pickled slashdot columns and cloned them to create this scientifically advanced post.

P.S. I refuse to participate in any further tiger cloning unless the DNA is released under an Open Source licence.

What about Hitler? (0)

WEllZ (90825) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686351)

If we are cloning dead animals, how long until we bring back Joan of Arc, or atleast her genes. Of course, its probably not feasible at all, but it just rings of the boys of brazil.

Re:Actually, it's not a tiger. (1)

SimonK (7722) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686352)

IIRC all Tasmanian native mammals are marsupials. Some very wierd ones too.

Mis-Allocation of Resources (1)

Rollo (9875) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686353)

As stated in the article: It would be cheaper to save still present species from extinction than to re-create already extinct ones. Still, it's an interesting (and highly debatable) project which surely would lead to a better understanding of DNA, but an inefficient way to preserve species.

Chill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1686354)

Hey, perhaps the prospect of good sales will bring in $$ to pay for the cloning of the dodo. It would be a good thing, so chill.

One obstacle... Tasmania (0)

Chuq (8564) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686355)

One thing that many of you non-Australian type people wouldn't know is that Tasmania is the ass-end of the ass-end of the world. Its main distunguishing feature is that it is full of people who restrict development and advancement in any form, not only science. We dont want this dam, we dont want this pulp mill, we dont want to legalise homosexuality, etc etc. No wonder its the government of another state (NSW) handling this whole cloning deal.

(This might sound like flame-bait, but its sadly all true - I've lived here for 20+ years)

Out of interest (sorta OT) anyone here from New Brunswick, Canada? Our latest government *claims* to be attempting to model Tasmania on that area.

And then what? (4)

Pascal of S (23541) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686356)

Okay, I agree that actually creating an animal from DNA salvaged from a dead-animal-in-a-jar is quite a feat, that will indeed do much for research in fertility and might well help preserve existing species. However, the Tasmanian Tiger will probably not be helped much, with only six DNA samples, the genepool is small to say the least. The first and second generations may do well, although chances are that there are already too many errors in the existing DNA. The DNA in the Jar does not preserve very well, as it is still subject to background radiation that will do damage.
All the information is probably still in there, as there are enough cells that all have a piece of correct DNA. To my knowledge there is no technique to combine all 'good' pieces and filter out the bad other than sequencing ALL of it several times. Then you can compare the sequences and try to synthesize the DNA. Which turns you back to yesterdays problem with the 'artificial bacterium', but then multiplied 10,000 times. Not to mention that at present we cannot even sequence one human in less than ten years, with several thousand of laboratories working together.
But okay, lets assume they have done it. When you breed them, you will have to inbreed them after the third generation, which is NOT a good idea with such a small genepool. Even lab mice, in which most bad traits have been out-bred long ago, don't respond well to that kind of inbreeding.
The technology might be useful, but not for resurecting long-dead animals, except if you're willing to keep doing it over and over again. At best you may be able to crossbreed it with a close relative again, but then it wouldn't be a tasmanian tiger anymore...

Re:Why not? (1)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686357)

Why not use the technology (that probably killed some of these animals) to bring them back? It's understandable we should let natural extinction alone (Dinosaurs, mammoths, etc) but why not try to right our wrongs?


You are implying that there is such an event as an 'un-natural' extinction. This is false. Humans are part of nature, we are natural, anything we do is natural. The Dodo and this other Dog-Marsupial thing couldn't hack it in a world where humans were the dominant species, too bad. No one ever complains about dinosaurs or insects or ants or any other animals whiping out species in competition, but if humans destory something then it's 'un-natural' all of a sudden. Get some perspective you weirdos.

Kintanon

Re:Going against nature is also part of nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1686358)

If the planet is viewed as a single living organism, as individual human cells and symbiotes make up our bodies, then humans are the brains of the operation.

And who or what is the poop chute?

Why did we do it? Because we could. (1)

Invalid_Name (90876) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686359)

Like most scientific breakthroughs there really isn't too much of a point to this besides bring back an ugly, probably unedible animal, but some point down the road there probably wil be a good use for this. Have the knowledge because you can.

I read a NASA officials comments on the ISS. He said that "we haven't even thought of most of the uses for the ISS." So if we can build a multi-billion dollar RV in space, why not bring back a ugly little rat from extinction.

Anyways, as long as we don't clone Velicoraptors we'll be okay.

Re:Cloning for fun and profit ... (1)

Bilbo (7015) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686360)

ARRRGH!

This is the primary reason why I don't like cloning. As soon as people get the idea into their heads that, "Gee, if species X becomes extinct, then we can just clone them again to bring them back," then they will be less likely to fight for preserving threatened species.

The problem is, cloning does NOT exactly duplicate the original animal, and it certainly can't duplicate any kind of genetic diversity within the species.

Cloning will never take the place of preserving species (and their natural environments) in the first place.

The rating of funny on the post is... (4)

Alanzilla (43079) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686361)

Whoever rated this as funny should have his moderator rights revoked for a month.

This is _NOT_ funny. We have destroyed so many computers by either eating them or by declaring them as evil that even the top 10 list can make anyone sick.

Even if the australians do not succed it will still be great if they try. And hopefully be followed by someone else to reincarnate:
1. The Compaq
2. CP/M
3. The Apple II
And many many more

And what I hope is that some anti-cloning maniacs following/seeking divine guidance will not try to throw a couple of molotov cocktails in the lab that do this work.

Mass destruction and extinction is NATURAL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1686362)

Already, the natural balance of our ecosystem has been upset. We've got ozone holes, rainforest burning, pollution at every turn.

You may be shocked to know that over 95% of all known species to have ever existed are extinct. And virtually all of them before humans even existed. And following each "tragedy" of mass extinction was a wonderful EXPLOSION of new speciation that moved in to fill the gap vacated by the predecessor. Mammals (including you) filled the niche occupied by the dinosaurs.

As for the ozone "hole" (An alarmists term; a hole would be no ozone. The ozone layer is just thinner over Antartica.). It's arrogant for us to have maybe 30-50 years worth of data on atmospheric conditions at the south pole and make absolute conclusions that we are causing them. We still cannot explain the causes of the ice ages (which make up most of earth's history) nor the brief warm periods (which we are in now). Hell, no one on earth can even tell me if it's even going to rain next week. We don't know anything about global weather patterns. The sun may undergo periodic fluctuations that dwarf anything that all the R12 we can deliberately produce and dump into the air would do. I propose that man does not possess the capability to significantly affect the global environment. How arrogant to think we are even capable of messing things up.

It's damn nice to see some initiative being taken to correct even a small amount of the damage we've done.

What we did is part of the natural order. Species drive other species to extinction all the time. This is not "damage". It is nature and natural. A species will grow wildly, consuming all the food and other species in an area, many of which will go extinct, then it's population will fall back to some self-sustaining level and new species will diverge to fill gaps left by the extinct ones.

Market for DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1686363)

Will there be a market for extinct species DNA? I got a couple of flesh-eating insects in Amber that I think should be worth somthing....

Re:Bad idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1686365)

We shouldn't meddle with the affairs of mother nature - this is her lab, not ours. I can't wait til people with this attitude finally figure out that WE (the human race) are part of 'mother nature's lab'... It's because people insist on setting themselves apart from nature and it's workings that we get into so much trouble.

Re:Going against nature is also part of nature (3)

Pascal Q. Porcupine (4467) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686368)

Although I wouldn't personally mourn the extinction of the mosquito.

But what of all the animals whose sole source of food is mosquitos? Would you mourn the sparrow?
---
"'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine.

Re:Semi-related links (1)

Hiro_Protaganist (87503) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686370)

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!! Tell me you are not serious about these? With the exception of the book form of Jurassic Park these are all unmitigated, pop culturish trash. Jurassic Park is only slightly above that.

I know, I know...probably be rated flamebait for this, but let's not confuse this trash with a valid ethical treatment of genetics.

simulate DNA growth? (1)

CocaCola (30016) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686377)

A DNA sequence perfectly defines the end result, right? (give or take random noise) It would thus be wise to first do a full-lifetime simulation of all custom DNA before actually creating it ... thus we'd have a chance to check out what the hell we have created? Besides, it would be perfectly fine for me to only see a simulated T-Rex ;)

Re:clone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1686378)

Maybe you should clone a spellchecker onto your PC.

Re:Infant/Embryo DNA (1)

Enoch Root (57473) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686379)

That doesn't matter. You just create the first, flawed creature with "aged" DNA (note the quotes), then have it reproduce with another clone. The next batch will be fresh as new.

"There is no surer way to ruin a good discussion than to contaminate it with the facts."

Re:Infant/Embryo DNA (1)

akey (29718) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686380)

The aging factor may come into play here. At least one of the specimens is a pup, and it also depends on the average life span of the animals, how late in life they breed, etc. If the first generations lived long enough to produce one or two litters, then it stands a chance of working.

Don't forget rabbits in Australia . . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1686381)


. . . and kudzu in the American South, Japanese beetles also in the U.S., no doubt the list goes on . . . I'd add humanity in just about every place we've gone outside Kenya, but the right-whingers would have an epileptic fit and start barking at the moon . . . come to think of it, what's wrong with that? :)


On the other hand, AFAIK pheasants are not native to the U.S., and they fit in just fine. Similarly, many lakes and streams in the Western U.S. have been stocked with East-coast trout; they've elbowed out the native trout, but they're filling the same niche and no harm seems to have been done if you're not a trout fancier. Then again, the various subspecies of trout involved are so close that they can interbreed, so that may not be a valid example. I guess what I'm saying is that this is an endeavor to be approached with some degree of fear and trembling, but it's not a guaranteed disaster; you may luck out.

Cloning - the VR research of the future? (2)

Ratface (21117) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686382)

Interesting point in the article about the cost of bringing back the tiger. However, it makes me think. Cloning is a technology that is very "sexy" right now. This means that scientists are going to be running around like headless chickens trying to get gramnts for bigger and better cloning projects.

This worries me a little. I'm worried, because it sounds like these scientists are trying to bite off more than they can chew. The more high price, but high risk projects that fail, the less likely that companies will stump up the money for further projects. Eventually, cloning whithers up and becomes a pariah science - like VR research did in the late 80's.

Of course, VR research still goes on, but if there hadn't been so much hype, bandwagon hopping and generally badly thought out, but highly publicised projects, a steady stream of investments into VR might by now have produced greater results.

Of course, the majority of experiments should go ahead, but when I hear of "cloning extinct Auzzie marsupials back to life", I just know that this is going to make it to all the tabloids around the world, with no mention of how astronomically difficult such a venture should be.

Perhaps we should try reviving something a little simpler first before issuing the press releases about mammoth steaks being reanimated!

Cloning - the VR research of the future? (1)

Ratface (21117) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686383)

Interesting point in the article about the cost of bringing back the tiger. However, it makes me think. Cloning is a technology that is very "sexy" right now. This means that scientists are going to be running around like headless chickens trying to get gramnts for bigger and better cloning projects.

This worries me a little. I'm worried, because it sounds like these scientists are trying to bite off more than they can chew. The more high price, but high risk projects that fail, the less likely that companies will stump up the money for further projects. Eventually, cloning whithers up and becomes a pariah science - like VR research did in the late 80's.

Of course, VR research still goes on, but if there hadn't been so much hype, bandwagon hopping and generally badly thought out, but highly publicised projects, a steady stream of investments into VR might by now have produced greater results.

Of course, the majority of experiments should go ahead, but when I hear of "cloning extinct Auzzie marsupials back to life", I just know that this is going to make it to all the tabloids around the world, with no mention of how astronomically difficult such a venture should be.

Perhpas we should try reviving something a little simpler first before issuing the press releases about mammoth steaks being reanimated!

That's evolution! (1)

Christopher Bibbs (14) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686384)

To paraphrase Wally Pleasant:
At the rate we're going, the scientists are going to eventually make a really big mistake (like cloning something they can't control) and we'll all get wiped out... and that's evolution!

If we as a species are too stupid not to leave things alone, maybe its time that we all kick off and let Mother Nature start over. Maybe this time she'll give fish a turn at ruling the planet.

Re:The rating of funny on the post is ... (1)

Jerad (65975) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686385)

I'm with ya there. Cloning a species just so humans can eat them to extinction again seems hardly worth the effort. And there's far more at stake here than just the extinction of these genus. Already, the natural balance of our ecosystem has been upset. We've got ozone holes, rainforest burning, pollution at every turn. It's damn nice to see some initiative being taken to correct even a small amount of the damage we've done.

This is some intelligent thinking on cloning for once. Sure beats cloning a sheep.

Dodos tasted bad. [Re:A better idea...] (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686386)

Actualy a cople of writers claim that no matter how you cook a Dodo it tasts bad.

It was discribed as a "Rank Meat".

Slow Dodos (Re:A better idea...) (1)

yabHuj (10782) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686397)

The trick with the Dodo was: it could not fly, and was (AFAIK) a lousy runner and even worse swimmer. There were no natural predators on that island, so the Dodo bird had no need to develop effective fugitive systems.

So hunting that bird was VERY easy.

Re:Cloning - the cloned article of the future! (1)

Ratface (21117) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686398)

Doh!

Press the any key to submit.

Which of these is the any key?

I'll just try them all.

Where are there so many copies of my article!

It wasn't quite like that, but apologies anyway for submitting twice!

n+1 tiger clones == BEOWULF CLUSTER! YES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1686399)


:)

Re:Reintroducing extinct species (1)

InSaNe ASyLuM (70500) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686400)

Yeah, seems like it'd be hard to come by enough varied DNA to avoid having the entire population being inbred a few generations down the line. Not that I'm opposed to inbreeding - it keeps Country music singers out of the unemployment line.

Re:Infant/Embryo DNA (2)

Mur! (19589) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686401)

The article states that they intend to extract DNA from a pup that has been preserved in alcohol since 1866. So it wouldn't be adult DNA used, nor embryo DNA, but whatever they can get out of a pickled infant.

Yet even Dolly's researchers haven't found that cloning an adult is all a bad thing. Dolly has had offspring, and they mature and grow just like any other lamb does. Therefore, even if they tried to clone an *adult* Tasmanian Tiger and succeeded, as long as they managed to produce a breeding pair, ideally they could *breed* a tiger that wouldn't have the DNA problems that Dolly does.

Personally, I'm rather hot and cold on this topic. I see a lot of uses for cloning that probably won't see light of day in any respectable lab (though I don't doubt that all sorts of research will be relegated to deep, dark basement labs under the direction of Mad Scientists(tm)), this is something I can see as being useful - especially if we ever decide to colonize other worlds. Imagine - terraform a planet, and you have an *entire* ecosystem to fill. I doubt that the animals we have left to us now would be able to populate and fill an entire, virgin world. More likely those that Man has managed to send the way of the Dodo (of course) would be just as useful as any we may have left at that point in whatever few 'wild' habitats there are left.

Besides, how better to study evolution than to terraform a planet, stick a bunch of dinosaurs and cockroaches on it, and see what happens?

Re:What about Hitler? (1)

Jerad (65975) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686402)

I tend to think that any clones have their own identities in spite of their genetic code. Of course, I could be wrong, so someone please correct me if I'm wrong. Such clones would only be said persons physically. It is a valid argument against cloning, however.

Re:Infant/Embryo DNA (2)

StoneDog (28523) | more than 15 years ago | (#1686403)

There is an interesting article in Science Daily [sciencedaily.com] about a a 21 year old bull's DNA being used as cloning material, they have a clone up and around right now and are supervising it carefully to see signs of premature aging or suseptability to disease etc...

I don't see a huge problem if the telomeres are truncated due to age or not. Appending a new length to the ends of the chromosomes can't be that difficult anyway since you only have to do it to the original source DNA anyway, of course with ~200 tries to every successful clone this could get tedious fast...

"And this whole research area is where you should be looking if you really want to save species." Great, so we have lots of formerly dead species and can only keep them in Zoos because all the habitat has been paved over. Give that man a giant spatuala for the most self-serving scientist of the year award.
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