Cloning 2 Essay, Research Paper
Extinction to the Brink
Every continent in the world that can be traveled has one thing in common, at
least one extinct species per continent exists. Whether the extinction of a species came
from annihilation by man, or natural causes; the problem is that the species cannot be
reborn. However, due to the recent discovey of cloning in 1997, it is believed that the
extinct Tasmanian Tiger can be cloned, and able to breed. This scientific breakthrough is
only a scratch on the issue of cloning and its capabilities.
In 1997, a sheep by the name of Dolly was cloned in Scotland, and the
hypothesis of genetic duplication was proven. For Australian museum director Mike
Archer, this was fifteen years of hopes and dreams coming true. It became of not if, but
when, said Archer. The species in question is the Tasmanian Tiger, a striped marsupial
like wolf. Its closest relative is the Tasmanian Devil, and the taillike features of a
kangaroo. The tiger was an inhabitant of Australia s southeastern coast island, Tasmania.
It was said that the population of the Tasmanian Tiger was the victim of tiger trapping; a
very prosperous trade back in the late 1800 s due to the British settlers and their conflicts
with the tiger killing farm animals.
In April of 2000, samples were taken from the heart, kidney, muscle and bone
marrow from a thylacine preserved pup in a museum in an attempt to reconstruct it s
DNA. Once the damage has been repaired, scientists will create the bluerint of the
tiger pup s DNA, so that they can inject the DNA into an egg of the Tasmanian Devil, so
that the tiger can be incubated and eventually born. It is estimated that this process may
take 10 to 15 years to bring back the species of the tiger form the dead.
Scientists worldwide are researching the same concept, cloning a sample of an
extinct species and recreating the population. Take for instance a situation last year in
New Zealand. The huia bird, which was once native to New Zealand, became extinct in
the 1920s, partly as a result of widespread deforestation, and partly because the huia’s
large black-and-white tail feathers became a hot fashion accessory in Europe. Now
scientists want to bring it and other species back by cloning them from preserved DNA
specimens. Yes, they’re quite serious. In July of 1999, biologists, bioethicists and
representatives from the native population of New Zealand, the Maori, for whom the huia
bird has symbolic significance, held a conference to discuss the possibility of reviving the
extinct species. The decision was made to pursue the project, despite some objections for
example, that to bring back the huia bird would be tantamount to playing God, and that
the huia’s extinction had been a natural process that demonstrated its unviability as a
species. “The next step in the cloning process involves searching for cells in the bones
and tendons of preserved specimens,” Dr. Rhys Michael Cullen, a New Zealand
physician, told CNN.
On the heels of the announcement of the huia project, a group of scientists
affiliated with the National History Museum of France announced that a recently
discovered woolly mammoth specimen may contain DNA samples suitable for cloning.
The mammoth is currently preserved in the permafrost of the Siberian tundra, where it
died 23,000 years ago. If sufficient amounts of soft tissue have survived for example,
the ears and the tail scientists may attempt to clone the mammoth using the eggs and
womb of an Asian elephant, a distant relative, according to Professor Larry Ageneroad of
the University of Northern Arizona.
It s amazing to imagine all the possibilities of cloning that the world can benefit
from. There are some who believe that cloning is playing God, but according to Mike
Archer, …people played God when we exterminated the animal in the first place. I
believe that scientists aren t playing God, they are just helping God, and at the same time,