Science has advanced so much that scientists are now bring extinct animals back to life- they call it de-extinction . De-extinction is done by two methods- cloning and selective breeding. Cloning is a process in which the DNA of an organism that is desired to be cloned is taken out and infused in the cell of another existing organism belonging to the same class. When fertilization takes place in the existing organism, it is able to produce an off-spring that looks exactly like the organism which was desired to be cloned. Selective breeding is the method in which DNA from teeth or bones an extinct animal found in a museum is extracted and then infused in an animal that shares similar genes. When that organism breeds, the off-springs look closely like there ancestors. However, the important question to be discussed is whether de-extinction should be supported or not?.
The first animal cloned was a sheep named dolly. It became the most talked about sheep in the world because of the way she was born. The process was carried out by scientists Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell in Scotland, United Kingdom during the year 1996. Dolly came in this world due to a process called nuclear transfer in which adult somatic cell is used. In the case of Dolly, this cell was extracted from the mammary gland of the donor sheep. Dolly had three mothers- the first one provided DNA, the second one provided egg and the third one carried dolly when it was an embryo. Out of 277 attempts made by these scientists only one cloned sheep was able to survive which lived for six years. Its death was due to lung disease. It was a great achievement for a cloned animal to survive for that long . Hence, cloning is an expensive, time consuming and risky process. The experiment of cloning involves high rates of death, deformity or disability in animals. Gestation process takes place hundreds of times creating high levels of suffering for the animals. Some environmentalists and animal rights’ activists greatly oppose cloning animals.
Why scientists are interested in de-extinction? The answer is mainly because drives them insanely curious . They want to know what and how organisms evolved hundreds of years ago and what made them extinct. They want to create new species and achieve recognition. Scientists have done de-extinction for woolly mammoth and passenger pigeon . They pose argument that because we humans are the reasons why valuable animals are now extinct so it is our job to bring them back to life. Today when they have the technologies to do so they should do it . They say it will increase biodiversity on earth. The need for de-extinction has arisen due to the fact that biodiversity crisis (decrease in biodiversity) has further alleviated problems like global warming. However, scientist’s curiosity for de-extinction raises questions like what role exactly are they playing in shaping the future of humans on earth? Is it another destructive strategy for earth in reality?
Although the phenomenon of de-extinction sounds extremely fascinating and valuable but it is dangerous in many ways. In the process of de-extinction, lots of species go through sufferings and even deaths. In order to produce a mammoth it will take lots of elephants to go through painful procedures and even death. Similarly, it will be extremely difficult for a pigeon to lay an egg similar to the size of the egg of a dodo bird . De-extinction will dreadfully perturb the ecosystem. There is no guarantee whether de-extinction will cause any harm like mutation in carriers of the extinct genes or not. There is a huge chance that many of the food webs will be destroyed. This process will definitely create an imbalance in the natural habitat .
Even if scientists become successful in bringing dead animals back to life, where will they keep them? How will they be able to provide de-extinct animals an environment in which they used to live when they were not extinct? From an ethical point of view, how will these de-extinct animals be able to live a good life? Animals like to be free in wild and they do not like living in zoos at all so how will de-extinct animals survive at zoos? It is nearly impossible to create an artificial environment for them. Living in this changed environment imposes painful threats to their health or habitat. .
Rich people are particularly interested in de-extinction because they will be able to keep new pets . They will spend their money to clone any endangered specie and keep it in their vicinity even if it is dangerous for the poor animal. On the other hand, they will increase their spending on profitable projects that destroy the natural habitat endangering the animals and claiming that these animals can be brought back to life through de-extinction. The rate of extinction will further elevate and then when there will be no diverse flora and fauna the humans will extinct too.
De-extinction process requires a lot of finance and skills. Researchers and investors will waste their time if they try to indulge themselves in de-extinction because they can spend their skills in deriving solutions through which endangered species can be saved. People should spend their money in ways through which endangered species can increase their generation. Knowledge gained from de-extinction does not helps in saving the endangered animals instead it destroys more animals. If people avoid doing activities like logging, poaching, hunting, cutting trees, destroying forests and pumping more carbon dioxide in the air that harm the natural habitat then diverse flora and fauna will be achieved naturally, just the way it is supposed to happen. Researchers should spend their time and money on researching and developing technologies that are environmentally friendly .
De-extinction is dangerous because it will further pose problems and challenges for the scientists. When the rate of extinction will alleviate, biodiversity will decrease and then scientists will not be able to do anything to save earth. De-extinction has more dangers than benefits. It is a selfish and unethical act that is why a lot of green-doers do not support it .
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