De-extinction: Bringing extinct animals back to life could happen
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - If you've ever wondered what it would be like to stand next to a woolly mammoth, listen up.
Scientists say it could happen.
But that doesn't mean it will.
Friday, many scientists have their eye on de-extinction.
Yes, it's just what it sounds like: using D-N-A to bring back extinct species.
Movies like Jurassic Park had us all wondering just what it would be like to walk with dinosaurs.
A concept considered pure science fiction just a few years ago is now feasible.
Conservation biologist Stanley Temple visited NDSU to explain the push toward de-extinction.
Stanley Temple/ Conservation Biologist: "I have no doubt that given enough time somebody's gonna pull it off."
But how is it possible to bring back a creature gone for centuries, even millennia?
Through a controversial genetic engineering process, scientists could find a closely-related species and replace parts of its DNA with ancient DNA.
Creating a genetically-modified organism that resembles the extinct species.
Fascinating, exciting, and really cool to think about, but the big question is whether it's a good idea.
Joey Wagner/ NDSU Student: "I don't know if dinosaurs coming back is something that will happen too soon."
Some say bringing back a species once it's extinct in unnatural and depending on the species, could cause problems for the ecosystem or even human health.
Haylee Beehler/ NDSU Student: "We should stick with just the species that are becoming extinct nowadays rather than focusing on something that has been gone for a millennia."
A slightly less controversial method of de-extinction would involve cloning well-preserved tissue.
That would, of course, only be possible for species that went extinct more recently and had their tissue preserved.