The news just broke out that Colossal Biosciences adds the Dodo to its list of de-extinction targets in an effort to relive this extinct bird native of Mauritius island
This is not the first time that scientists are scratching their head over the Promethean challenge of de-extincting species.
After all, the whole blockbuster movie Jurassic Park is based on this idea.
This very company is also involved in the then mediatized de-extinction project of the woolly mammoth.
CRISPR is like a copy and paste tool for genetic information. Just like you can use a copy and paste tool to move text or code from one project to another, CRISPR can be used to move genes from one organism to another, or even edit the DNA of an organism.
The process of gene editing would involve taking the genetic material from the Nicobar pigeon, which is the closest living relative to the extinct Dodo, and then using it to create primordial germ cells. These cells would then be modified using CRISPR technology to incorporate genetic material from the Dodo. The modified cells would then be transferred into a surrogate host, which would enable the Dodo to be brought back from extinction.
The announcement came with an announcement of a funding round to the tunes of 150 millions $ which demonstrates a belief of a huge TAM behind.
Being in monopoly in an entire market, an enviable situation with possible targets uses in Zoo and other exhibition and chiefly – the likely cause of its extinction – for meat.
That raises an unfathomable number of moral and ethical questions ?
- Does it defeat the whole ideal of protecting species?
- Who has the right to decide if a species should be de-extincted?
- What economic and environmental impacts would de-extinction have on existing species?
- Would de-extinction create a new form of animal exploitation?
The most relevant for FarmNetz would be whether it can be sold on our marketplace, since GMO cannot be organic?
Would you eat CRISPR re-lived DODO?