de-extinction

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Lemme introduce you to our two new babies :)

They came to us a little over a month ago from the Duke Lemur Center and are finally out of quarantine ! 

My zoo is the coordinator for the Eulemur flavifrons EEP and we have been known for a while now for our care and breeding of this species. So much that today the european population for E.flavifrons are all related to our starter group back in 92. This means that in order to keep the EEP viable we needed to add some genetic diversity into it and this is how this cross-continent exchange came to be.

This is terrific news for the future of E.flavifrons in Europe and over the world. So much hope rests on these two’s shoulders. They’re only gonna turn 2 in a couple of months so they are still very young but they bare so much positivity for the future. I’m so excited to be working with them! 

The blue-eyed black lemur is critically endangered and is on The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates list. 

I’ll post better pics soon :)

youtube

Mammoths vs. Mastodons: 
Can we ‘de-extinct’ them both?

‘Jurassic Park’ is the quintessential ‘de-extinction’ story, a fiction that captured the imaginations of people all over the world. But in the last few years, the research potential examining possibilities of bringing back genomes of extinct organisms doesn’t seem so fictional after all. 

The Woolly Mammoth is a prime candidate for this research both in terms of their close genetic relationships to Asian elephants, as well as the amount of well-preserved genetic material. But what about a group of organisms related to woolly mammoths…? How far can you stretch those genetic relationships, and what else factors into that feasibility? 

Check out the video for more..!

Woolly Mammoth DNA has been successfully implemented into Asian elephants genes!

Geneticist George Church, professor of genetics at Harvard University, and a team of researchers copied DNA from a woolly mammoth carcass preserved in the Arctic permafrost and pasted the genetic code into an Asian elephants genome and found they function normally.

The group of scientists selected genes associated with the mammoth’s ability to resist the cold, including hairiness and haemoglobin, and used a DNA editing tool called CRISPR to splice genes from the mammoths’ ears, subcutaneous fat, and hair length into the DNA of elephant skin cells. The tissue cultures represent the first time woolly mammoth genes have been functional since the last of its species went extinct on Wrangel Island around 3,300 years ago.

While the experiment takes a bold, new step in genetic research, it’s also prompted debates over the ethics of the procedure within the scientific community. What do you guys think?

anonymous asked:

I always thought that mammoths should be the one of last things to resurrect but after doing some research, It's seems that the reason why they're one of first to be brought back is due to the availability of their DNA as well as their fame. Some may say this might be a bad thing but I think if the cloning and birth were successful, It might mean more research and interest for DNA and cloning technology for both de-extinction and more importantly conservation.

I agree, honestly. Ideally, I think we should start with recently-extinct species that can still survive in the wild. A mammoth would be a zoo animal.

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I’ll talk more about this project for a while as it unfolds, but basically at my job at the Field Museum, we have an herbarium with approximately 3 million plant specimens collected from around the world, over a long period of time.

This is leafy prairie clover (Dalea foliosa), a federally endangered plant that lives in four different states, usually in gravelly dolomite prairies. This particular specimen was found on Langham Island (home of the Kankakee mallow) and hasn’t been seen there in over a century. It was probably collected to death by this botanist, in fact. We have three of the five plants he found there in 1872-73.

Myself and some of the other Friends of Langham Island noticed our collection here still has seeds attached, so utilizing THE POWER OF SCIENCE we are going to try and germinate some of these seeds for eventual reintroduction to Langham. Essentially we are de-extincting a genetic line that was prematurely snuffed out due to over-enthusiastic botanizing. We plan on getting the proper permits and using all available information to make this reintroduction a success, including the reestablishment of its known associate species, most of which are also extirpated. If modern human disturbance and destruction result in extinction of a line or whole species, don’t we have a responsibility to try and reverse some of that if we can?

I love the idea that we have so many plants we know have come from populations that are no longer there and we can use this information (or even the seeds of the original plants) to help direct our restoration efforts. Even if these 130 year old seeds don’t germinate, we are still going to do all we can to bring back D. foliosa to Langham. So it can be the most healthy and biodiverse version of itself we can picture.

It’s so much fun to imagine what is possible by looking at what once was commonplace and is now gone. We CAN get hope from loss!

Scientists Sequence a Full Mammoth Genome

Beth Shapiro, author of How to Clone a Mammoth, acknowledges that scientists will never clone a mammoth. But we might be able to bring them back other ways. But she also says we shouldn’t. 

There have been many attempts to decode the mammoth’s genes, but April 2015 saw the first successful complete mammoth genome sequencing. While this cannot lead to cloning in the strict sense of the word (somatic cell nuclear transfer requires a living cell from the donor species), it may be the next step in bringing the species back. 

With parts of the mammoth genome, we may be able to determine what genes separate the mammoth from an Asian elephant. Scientists may be able to edit the genes of an elephant to make it hairier, fatter, and with hemoglobins making its blood more suitable to cold environments. However, while this is a step in the direction of de-extinction, there are many more technical and ethical hurdles to overcome before there is a chance of reviving the mammoth.

C’est à croire quelquefois qu’il n’aime pas son métier. Qu’il se rêve plutôt en historien, en philosophe, en journaliste, en psychologue ou en sociologue et qu’il se propose, comme ces derniers, de tout élucider. Alors l’écrivain enquête, raisonne, argumente. Il attrape un pan de réalité par les coins et le secoue comme un tapis. On loue sa lucidité, sa pénétration. Ce faisant, il a pourtant renoncé à toutes ses prérogatives. Le monde aveuglé déjà par les projecteurs et les Scialytique n’a pas vraiment besoin de sa lanterne. Peut-être même attend-il de lui le contraire exactement : qu’il s’oppose à l’extinction de la légende, du mystère, au règne totalitaire de la transparence. L’écrivain n’est pas un laveur de carreaux. Il ne délivre pas une parole autorisée. Il n’est expert en rien. Il ne détient pas non plus de précieuses informations dont son lecteur serait avide ou curieux.

Or cette méprise est de plus en plus répandue et d’abord chez les auteurs eux-mêmes. Nous assistons à la disparition presque complète de l’écrivain fauteur de troubles pour l’esprit, façon Kafka, celui qui sait qu’il n’y a pas d’épaisseur sans opacité ni de songe sans énigme.

Going to interview George Church, one of the world’s leading geneticists, tomorrow. If you have any questions you want me to ask him, let me know ASAP!
He’s famous for is work in synthetic biology and genetics, and was a major force behind The Human Genome Project. Since he’s so accomplished in a variety of subject, I am going to focus on one area of his research; the de-extinction of the mammoth. In short, his team has used the CRISPR technology to put mammoth DNA on an elephant genome, and ideally, this will lead to an animal that has much of the genotype and phenotype of a mammoth.

Jurassic World AU where Vic Hoskins and Dr. Wu never conspired to create hybrid dinosaurs for the military, and genetic research in Jurassic World was allowed to continue and advance at its usual rate.

Eventually the genetic codes of Paleozoic and Cenozoic animals are recreated to De-Extinct animals like giant insects and woolly mammoths for display in Jurassic World. Simon Masrani purchases neighboring islands in order to make room for these newly recreated species while also securing real estate for plans to transform Jurassic World into a multi-park resort a la Walt Disney World.

Park attendance, media attention, and third-party investment reach an all-time high exponentially greater than that seen in Jurassic canon as a result of these new species and parks. This leads to a push for even more advancements in genetic research, and when the investors realize the full capabilities of this new research (such as the hypothetical creation of entirely new species), they begin to demand the creation of animals that had previously only existed in the human mind.

Unicorns. Griffons. Mermaids. Dragons. Thanks to the generosity of third parties, Jurassic World’s research team has become capable of amalgamating specific genomes of several species to create living “versions” of mythological creatures. This results in the creation of the field known as Neo-Genesis. 

Thanks to Jurassic World’s breakthroughs in De-Extinction and Neo-Genesis, parents can take their children to ride baby dinosaurs and play with fairies all in a week’s vacation. Crowds wait impatiently in line for the hourly feeding in Vampire Cavern. Little boys have to choose between a T. Rex or werewolf plush in the gift shop. Guests young and old show off t-shirts reading “I Survived the Maze of the Minotaur”.

Masrani pushes for a change in the resort’s name that honors both the resort’s seemingly infinite expansion and John Hammond’s original vision of Jurassic Park.

Welcome to Jurassic Universe.

Quand l’Homme m’envoie un message tout mignon “Tu sais quoi, dors chez ton père ce soir, j’ai bien senti que t’avais mal dormi cette nuit”. MER-CI !! Entre le changement d’heure, mon mal de dos, ses ronflements, et mon extinction de voix (ponctuée d’une toux horrible), je suis un zombie depuis 3 jours (3 jours = 6h de sommeil au total)