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    Default Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    I know that the system used in Jurassic Park wouldn;t actually work for dinosaurs because too much of the genetic material would have degraded, but would it work for more recently extinct species.

    For example, there have been wooly mammoth carcasses found that still had flesh on them bexause they were frozen in ice, could a mammoth be cloned from that?

    Or what about something like the Thylacine, where specimens are available that date to less than a century ago?
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    Default Re: Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    How do you ensure you have the animals DNA and not one of the bacteria that were breaking it down? Or the scientists who dug it up, or one of the parasites in its skin? It seems very unlikely to me that you will get a pure sample without lab conditions.
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    Default Re: Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    They've been trying with the quagga, a zebra relative hunted to extinction about the end of the 19th Century, with a (so far) complete lack of success. Last I heard, the record was getting an embryo to survive for almost two hours.

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    Default Re: Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    They've been trying with the quagga, a zebra relative hunted to extinction about the end of the 19th Century, with a (so far) complete lack of success. Last I heard, the record was getting an embryo to survive for almost two hours.
    This brings in another issue. Mammals DNA is streamlined to be grown in the womb of one of its own species. Egg laying animals have much more complicated instructions for keeping an embryo viable, with mammals it is just expected the acidity, warmth and resources will be there exactly on time. Without a living adult of the same species it might not be possible to reproduce a mammal, because we don't know what the exact womb conditions the DNA expects to be met are.

    Edit: For example, Humans and Chimpanzees are very closely related. A Chimpanzee has a resting body temperature of 98.9 and humans have a resting temperature of 98.6. That's probably not enough alone to render an embryo unviable, but it gets at the heart of how difficult it would be with perfect DNA to resurrect an extinct species.
    Last edited by Tvtyrant; 2020-06-05 at 12:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    I wonder how feasible it would be to save DNA samples of severely endangered animals with the hopes of restoring them. Or using this to create clones now of an endangered species, to increase the population. (I assume you'd have to breed the clones with non-cloned wild/zoo-kept animals, to keep a population bottleneck in genetic diversity. But even if there's already limited diversity due to low population, more critters breeding would probably help, or at least not hurt (assuming none of the clones spreads some bad genetic disorder throughout the population.))

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    Default Re: Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    I wonder how feasible it would be to save DNA samples of severely endangered animals with the hopes of restoring them. Or using this to create clones now of an endangered species, to increase the population. (I assume you'd have to breed the clones with non-cloned wild/zoo-kept animals, to keep a population bottleneck in genetic diversity. But even if there's already limited diversity due to low population, more critters breeding would probably help, or at least not hurt (assuming none of the clones spreads some bad genetic disorder throughout the population.))
    It probably wouldn't work very well.
    Cloning at a high enough rate to keep a viable population would be incredibly difficult and expensive, so unless you solved the root problem of why the animals are endangered, it wouldn't solve anything.
    Saving DNA from species with, say, <100 wild specimens could probably prevent extinction (at great cost,) but rebuilding a wild population is another matter entirely. And really, what's the point of keeping a few critically endangered animals in captivity if they're never going to be reintroduced into the wild? It's pretty much just academic interest and amusement at that point.
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

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    Default Re: Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    I wonder how feasible it would be to save DNA samples of severely endangered animals with the hopes of restoring them. Or using this to create clones now of an endangered species, to increase the population. (I assume you'd have to breed the clones with non-cloned wild/zoo-kept animals, to keep a population bottleneck in genetic diversity. But even if there's already limited diversity due to low population, more critters breeding would probably help, or at least not hurt (assuming none of the clones spreads some bad genetic disorder throughout the population.))
    IIRC, something like that is being attempted with a species of Rhino that's bound for extinction (only two animals of the same sex remain). Scientist had gathered sperm and eggs a while ago in case the species declined further, and now they're trying to restore numbers by using a different, closely related species of rhino as a carrier.

    This is all of the top of my head though, so I might have some, or all, of these details wrong XD
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    Default Re: Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    You still have the basic Dolly problem, though. Thousands of attempts for one viable subject who led a shortened life with endemic serious health issues. Also with the detail that captivity bred and raised animals have no idea how to function anywhere but in the cage.

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    Default Re: Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    Theoretically possible if a close relation exists (ala Mammoths and Elephants) but cloning is a very imperfect science as of now so I doubt it.

    From what I understand the genetic material is in reasonably good condition though, so it should work if we didn't suck at cloning

    Edit: I recall a group in Europe trying to bring back a species of wild bull was taking breeds that had it's genetic markers and breeding them for those traits to get something fairly close. From what I understand that seemed to be going pretty well
    Last edited by Blackhawk748; 2020-06-07 at 01:59 AM.

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    Default Re: Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post
    Edit: I recall a group in Europe trying to bring back a species of wild bull was taking breeds that had it's genetic markers and breeding them for those traits to get something fairly close. From what I understand that seemed to be going pretty well
    Something similar was being done with the Quagga:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quagga_Project

    Cloning might be hard, but selective breeding is somewhat easier.
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    Default Re: Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post
    Edit: I recall a group in Europe trying to bring back a species of wild bull was taking breeds that had it's genetic markers and breeding them for those traits to get something fairly close. From what I understand that seemed to be going pretty well
    That of course only results in a new species that outwardly mostly resembles the target species. That may be a good enough target of course.

    The WW2 Germans for example were trying to rebreed the extinct auroxs for weird pseudo-scientific reasons. With time they would have gotten something that
    in appearance and maybe temperament (how could one know?) could resemble the original. But it wouldn't be the original.



    As to the matter of fixing the cause of extinction, well, that's also doable. Usually it's a matter of willingness to employ resources. Though there is going to be a fairly vast spectrum of problems. Bringing back the Dodo won't mean needing to fend off Dutch and Portugese sailors. Bringing back an extinct animal will make it valuable, more valuable alive than dead. There are existing examples were changing minds and economic motivators helps endangeread species.
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2020-06-08 at 02:38 AM.

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    Default Re: Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    How are you defining "original"

    EDIT:
    Nevermind, I just read the post you were responding to. I agree, that's not the same, not even close. And definitely fundamentally different from what I'm talking about.
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2020-06-08 at 03:14 AM.
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    Default Re: Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    I just foubd a definitive answer to my question:

    It's already been done, but not very well
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    Default Re: Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    I wouldn't call that a definitive answer, but it is an interesting case study that shows some of the obstacles (but not nearly all of them.)

    That goat was cloned starting from a living cell harvested from an animal that was still alive. In the case of say a mammoth (and there are serious plans to try this with mammoths) you don't have a viable cell. Mostly complete DNA maybe, sure, but not a viable cell.

    The DNA is quite possibly not even the biggest hurdle, if we're looking semi-near future. That's because DNA can be synthesized. You don't need to have a single complete sequence, if you have overall enough samples to make a full genome, you can grow it in a lab. They have already done this with bacteria, take out all DNA and replace it with a synthesized copy of the exact same DNA, and it worked.

    Of course it's not quite that simple for many organisms that are not a bacterium handpicked to make that possible. The chromosomes are not just DNA, there's stuff like histones to consider, proteins that the DNA is wrapped around and that have a major influence on the way it is read. And there's telomeres, buffer zones at the end of the DNA that get shorter as you age and can't quite be artificially lengthened yet. There's also the genetic variation of a healthy population to consider. For the new mammoths to be able to breed you need the diversity of hundreds of animals, not a single genome. You could theoretically get around that by making the single genome you're using perfect, with no recessive ailments, but that requires you to be able to read all of the DNA and tell what does what, and that's a lot harder than collecting a full sequence. We don't even have a full list like that for humans yet. And while this allows you to grow a healthy population, it hampers that population's ability to evolve and adapt to their current circumstances on its own. Might be good enough for a zoo, but not for saving the permafrost by having mammoths clear out trees (which incidentally is what one of the people calling for reviving mammoths wants to do with them).

    And more and more problems show up when you get to a broader focus. Mammoth DNA can tell a mammoth fertilized egg cell containing mammoth organelles (including mammoth mitochondria, a special case because they have their own DNA, a leftover from their origin as independent microorganisms) how to become a mammoth baby inside a mammoth uterus (inside a mammoth), but there is no reason to believe all of that will still work if you use an elephant cell and an elephant uterus. It's one of those problems that may seem relatively simple at first glance because we don't even really know what questions to ask yet. You know, like terraforming Mars. The way you hear some people talking about it it feels like it's probably easier than keeping control of climate change on Earth, but in reality it's an unfathomably larger job. That's kind of what the non-DNA based obstacles to mammoth cloning could easily turn out to be like.

    It's nice that some scientists are optimistic, but I wouldn't say we're quite there yet.
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    Default Re: Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    And more and more problems show up when you get to a broader focus. Mammoth DNA can tell a mammoth fertilized egg cell containing mammoth organelles (including mammoth mitochondria, a special case because they have their own DNA, a leftover from their origin as independent microorganisms) how to become a mammoth baby inside a mammoth uterus (inside a mammoth), but there is no reason to believe all of that will still work if you use an elephant cell and an elephant uterus. It's one of those problems that may seem relatively simple at first glance because we don't even really know what questions to ask yet. You know, like terraforming Mars. The way you hear some people talking about it it feels like it's probably easier than keeping control of climate change on Earth, but in reality it's an unfathomably larger job. That's kind of what the non-DNA based obstacles to mammoth cloning could easily turn out to be like.

    It's nice that some scientists are optimistic, but I wouldn't say we're quite there yet.
    Have we used cross species wombs before? I would imagine that there would be at least a few papers on it either way.
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    Default Re: Feasibility of Jurassic-Park-ing more recently extinct species?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Have we used cross species wombs before? I would imagine that there would be at least a few papers on it either way.
    There are some between very closely related animals, like horses and donkeys or cows and yaks. I'm not an expert on the subject by any means.
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