Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Cloning Extinct Species

In the news last week was the proposition that scientists might be able to clone the now extinct Mammoth.

Do we really need to bring back the mammoth?
Scientists map DNA of prehistoric animalCNN - 19 Nov 2008"This really is the first time that we have been able to study an extinct animal in the same detail as the ones living in our own time," said Stephan ...
Scientists reconstruct genome of extinct woolly mammoth Business Mirror
Regenerating a Mammoth for $10 Million New York Times
Successful Cloning Process With 16-year-old Frozen TissueeFluxMedia - 5 Nov 2008Still, the same nuclear transfer techniques could be used on extinct species. The study notes that "techniques could be used to 'resurrect' animals or ...
A first-time research to make cloning possible from a dead cell MyNews.in
Cloned Mice Obtained Using Frozen Tissue Technique could be used ... Drug Topics Magazine
'Scientists a step closer to Jurassic Park' Hindu

No need to clone them to bring back a prehistoric createure we have them living among us. Here is a living dinosaur that needs saving.

Sturgeons in China may be among last survivors of 130-million-year-old species
08:48 AM CST on Saturday, November 29, 2008
Craig Simons / Cox News Service
SHANGHAI, China – It's hard to hold a living dinosaur in a concrete pool.
Yet the dozens of Chinese sturgeons swimming lazy circles at the Yangtze Estuarine Nature Reserve in Shanghai may be among the last survivors of a 130-million-year-old species, one of the oldest surviving animals in the world.
As recently as the 1970s, thousands of Chinese sturgeons – a flat-headed fish that can live for 40 years and grow as long as a minivan – spawned each year in the Yangtze, the world's third-longest waterway. Adults typically spent more than a decade in the Pacific Ocean before swimming thousands of miles up the Yangtze to breed.
Today, a combination of dams, over-fishing and heavy boat traffic has pushed the species to the brink of extinction. Last year, scientists documented only six adult sturgeons in their last known remaining spawning ground.
The sturgeons' plight underscores the high environmental costs of China's economic development. China has grown about 10 percent annually since the late 1970s.
But a lack of environmental controls has led to widespread pollution and habitat loss.
From its headwaters on the Tibetan Plateau to where it pours into the East China Sea just north of Shanghai, the Yangtze was once one of the world's richest ecosystems. Elephants, tigers and alligators roamed its banks. Cranes and other birds fed in wide marshes in its flood plains.
At the beginning of the 20th century the Chinese sturgeon was among the oldest living animal species in the world. Its spawning grounds stretched into Sichuan province, 2,000 miles from the sea.
Through the 1970s, fishermen prized sturgeons for their size and caught hundreds annually.
Beijing listed Chinese sturgeons as endangered in 1988 and banned killing them, but many continued to be injured by fishing nets strung along the riverbank.
Traffic in the Yangtze also became a problem because sturgeons swim near the surface, colliding with boats.
Hydroelectric dams have been the biggest challenge to the Chinese sturgeons' survival. The Gezhouba Dam was built across the Yangtze River in 1981 to test techniques later used in the Three Gorges Dam.
All of the sturgeons' traditional breeding grounds lie upstream of the Gezhouba Dam. But some sturgeons made do with a habitat just east of its massive sluice gates.
"There has been so much manmade damage to the river that I sometimes can't see how the Chinese sturgeon can recover," said Wei Qiwei, a biologist at the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute.

The Chinese sturgeon could go the way of the original New Zealand Penquin.

The discovery of a previously unknown and now extinct New Zealand penguin could be just one of many breakthroughs as scientists probe the secrets of ancient DNA.
A study led by Otago University researchers set out to look at changes in the yellow-eyed penguin population after humans settled in New Zealand.
But DNA analysis of old bones discovered evidence of a completely new penguin species, now dubbed the Waitaha the Maori word for Canterbury penguin.
The study found the yellow-eyed penguin was a recent immigrant to New Zealand, arriving just 500 years ago.
"This sort of discovery is going to become more and more common as people look at ancient DNA," said Otago University zoologist Dr Phil Seddon.
The yellow-eyed penguin filled a niche after the Waitaha became extinct following the arrival of Polynesian settlers between 1300 and 1500 AD.

Jurassic Park
Capitalism Threatens Coelacanth
Prehistoric Happy Feet
March Of The Penquins to Extinction

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments: