Weekly reads: De-extinction pros & cons with Dodo 2.0, CTCF, retraction

I don’t think de-extinction of animals just for the heck of it like woolly mammoths is a good idea, but what about de-extincting animals like the Dodo? Where humans caused them to disappear? If that’s even possible, is it a good idea?

Dodo de-extinction

A company is giving it a try. I can see the merit in trying to return such animals to existence. It’s a possible pro to undue damage done by people.

Dodo bird de-extinction, de-extinction
Dodo bird exhibit. Wikimedia Commons image. Credit BazzaDaRambler.

There are still cons and risks, but it seems more reasonable than just doing something for the novelty like woolly mammoth de-extinction. What would be the pro of remaking a mammoth? It would be fun and cool?

What do think? Should we de-extinct the Dodo bird if we can?

Here’s the article that brought this to mind. A de-extinction company is trying to resurrect the dodoMIT Technology Review. Is there any article that Antonio Regalado writes that I don’t want to read?

The woolly mammoth de-extinction seems kind of questionable in motivation. There also has been talk about producing mammoths without tusks. If those pushing this de-extinction are going to make other changes too then at some point are the end results not even really mammoths?

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3 thoughts on “Weekly reads: De-extinction pros & cons with Dodo 2.0, CTCF, retraction”

  1. But, Paul, if it is private money, why not? Even if the only reason is “cool” (aka, awe)> My biggest concern is animal welfare, for the mothers (in mammals) and the offspring (which might argue for starting with a plant). Any way, Jake Sherkow and I wrote about this nearly a decade ago in Science; I stand by our analysis, which has as a bottom of line: if done carefully, why not?

    1. Hi Hank. Your piece with Jake is a good one. I confess. The fun, nerdy element of de-extinction has a draw for me. However, I’m not sure that those involved w/the mammoth project will keep animal welfare in mind. Even now after all these years, they don’t really have a good answer for what they’d do with the new mammoths and where. Tusks or no tusks? Circus-like conditions to generate millions in income for the people? I also do think it’s likely that elephants will be harmed one way or another in the process. The case for the dodo is much more compelling.

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