Is it possible to bring dinosaurs back to life? Learn about species de-extinction

The prospect of bringing back to life extinct specieslike dinosaurs, became a tangible possibility thanks to innovations in cloning techniques and molecular paleontology.

Although the idea of ​​recreating these ancient inhabitants of Earth may seem straight out of a sci-fi moviescience has been exploring ways to de-extinct species for years.

First studies on de-extinction

The first successful cloning of an extinct species occurred in 2003 with the Pyrenean ibex, a wild goat that became extinct in 2000.

Using cloning techniques, ibex cell nuclei were inserted into goat eggs without their own DNAresulting in a birth that, although brief, marked a significant advance in molecular paleontology.

Quagga Project aims to bring the zebra’s extinct cousin to life – Image: Wiki Commons/Reproduction

Species such as the dodo, great auk, Tasmanian tiger and passenger pigeon, which became extinct due to human activity, can be revived through allelic replacement.

This technique involves replacing some genes in genetically close and living species, allowing the resurrection of several extinct species.

Despite scientific advances, the ethics surrounding the reintroduction of extinct species are highly controversial.

Critics argue that diverting resources to bringing back extinct species could undermine conservation efforts. biodiversity current, especially considering the alarming rates of extinction that the planet faces.

Furthermore, although science fiction has addressed the topic for years, dinosaurs are not a species chosen for introducing the technique.

However, advocates of this practice, such as George Church, see significant benefits in reintroducing key species such as the woolly mammoth.

The presence of these extinct animals can help balance ecosystems and even positively influence the environment in which they lived.

A current example of this effort is the Quagga Project, led by South African researchers, who seek, through selective breeding, to recreate plains zebras similar to the extinct quagga.

Although species de-extinction may offer opportunities to reverse environmental damage and recovering lost ecosystems, ethical discussion and dilemmas about resource allocation and human interference in nature continue to be central points of this controversial scientific debate.

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