Can you bring extinct species back to life?
- By Richard Branson -
- Nov 12, 2012
De-extinction. It sounds like a made up word. You can’t bring extinct species back to life…can you?
Wildlife experts have warned that species are currently becoming extinct at the fastest rate since the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.
So it is great to hear Stewart Brand and Ryan Phelan have started a project called Revive and Restore with the stated aim of bringing extinct species back from the dead.
Their mission is “deep ecological enrichment through extinct species revival” and they aim to help scientists advance the field of de-extinction.
Genomic technology is making the possibility of de-extinction increasingly likely and organisations including The Nature Conservancy, National Geographic and Conservation International are all involved.
Stewart and Ryan tell me the Caribbean monk seal and passenger pigeon are early candidate for de-extinction, while even the Woolly Mammoth is being considered.
Regardless of whether any success is imminent, increasing debate about the ethics and potential for this area of science is a noble goal.
If they pull it off it would be absolutely incredible. What species would you want to bring back?
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group