It's Called 'De-Extinction' — It's Like 'Jurassic Park,' Except It's Real | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

It's Called 'De-Extinction' — It's Like 'Jurassic Park,' Except It's Real

Play associated audio

Sorry to disappoint, but science writer Carl Zimmer says we're not going to bring back dinosaurs. But, he says, "science has developed to the point where we can actually talk seriously about possibly bringing back more recently extinct species."

It's called "de-extinction" — and it's Zimmer's cover story for National Geographic's April issue.

In 2003, he tells Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, scientists took some DNA that had been rescued from the very last bucardo, a type of wild goat that had recently gone extinct. And, long story short, they used a surrogate egg and mother to bring a bucardo — or something close to it — back to life. It was born with birth defects, lived for 10 minutes, and then went extinct again. But scientists saw this as a major breakthrough.

How de-extinction works is complicated, and that's what the National Geographic article is for. The bigger, arguably more pressing, question is: Why develop de-extinction? And there's a discussion about that on National Geographic's website, as well.

Ross MacPhee, a curator of mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, is quoted in the magazine article as saying: "What we really need to think about is why we would want to do this in the first place, to actually bring back a species."

Leave your comments here, or join the discussion there. You can also follow what the leading scientists think, as they gather Friday for a daylong TEDx event in Washington, D.C. Or learn more in this TED talk by Stewart Brand, who heads up the Revive and Restore project.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Nonprofit Commemorates 100th Anniversary Of 'Flanders Fields'

A local non-profit is marking the 100th anniversary of a famous war poem with an event and the launch of a new fund for veterans.

NPR

McDonald's CEO Promises 'Modern, Progressive Burger Company'

"The reality is, our recent performance has been poor," McDonald's President and CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a video released Monday.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia Privacy Advocates See Win On Drones, Loss On License Plate Readers

Police in Virginia will have to get a warrant before using a drone in a criminal case, a victory for privacy advocates, but a measure to limit data collection from license plate readers was shot down.

NPR

The Promise And Potential Pitfalls Of Apple's ResearchKit

Apple's new mobile software platform is designed to help collect data for medical research, but concerns have been raised about privacy and informed consent.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.