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Could the dodo be revived? US-based firm Colossal Biosciences announces project to bring back extinct flightless bird | Science & Tech News

Scientists hoping to bring extinct species back to life have set their sights on reviving the dodo.

Flightless bird, native to Mauritiusinfamously extinct in the 1600s due to a combination of hunting by sailors and destruction of its habitat by invasive species introduced to the Indian Ocean island by their ships.

But more than 400 years after the last recorded sighting of the bird, scientists hope to spark a stunning Jurassic Park-style comeback.

US firm Colossal Biosciences, which announced plans to bring back the woolly mammoth two years ago, said it now wants to bring back the iconic bird as well.

The firm based in Dallas, Texashas already raised an additional $150m (£121m) to support the project.

The company hopes to be able to recreate the dodo using DNA, just like the fictional experts did in 1993. Steven Spielberg movie.

Cane prototype for Richard Attenborough's character John Hammond in the 1993 film Jurassic Park.
Jurassic Park scientists have combined dinosaur DNA embedded in fossilized mosquitoes. Rice: PA

in Hollywood Scientists have combined dinosaur DNA embedded in fossilized mosquitoes encased in amber with frog DNA to bring the dinosaurs back to life.

In the real world, Colossal Biosciences hopes to take the DNA of the dodo’s closest living relative, the Nicobar pigeon, and edit it to resemble dodo cells.

According to Beth Shapiro, a molecular biologist on Colossal’s scientific advisory board, it’s possible to put these altered cells into the developing eggs of other birds, such as pigeons or chickens, to create offspring that can in turn naturally produce dodo eggs. studied dodo for two decades.

This concept is still at an early theoretical stage for dodos.

Ms Chaprio’s team now plans to study the DNA differences between the Nicobar pigeon and the dodo to understand “which genes really make the dodo a dodo.”

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But Ms Chaprio warned that “it is impossible to recreate a 100% identical copy of what is already gone.”

This is because the animals are the product of both their genetics and their environment, which has changed dramatically since the dodo was last seen in the 1600s.

Other scientists, meanwhile, are skeptical of the idea of ​​the project, warning that “extinction restoration” efforts are diverting attention and money from efforts to save species still living on Earth.

A rare fragment of a dodo femur next to an image of an extinct bird species on the premises of Christie's auction house in London, Wednesday, March 27, 2013. A fragment of a bone that is valued at 10,000-15,000 pounds sterling (from 15,105 to 22,657 dollars and from 11,822 to 17,733 euros) in the upcoming April 24
A rare dodo femur fragment sold at auction in 2013. Photo: AP

Duke University environmentalist Stuart Pimm said: “There is a real danger of saying that if we destroy nature, we can just reassemble it, because we can’t.

“Where would you put a woolly mammoth other than in a cage?”

Boris Worm, a biologist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, added: “Our priority should be to prevent extinction in the first place, and in most cases it is much cheaper.”

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