DailyDirt: Playing With Biological Fire By Reviving Ancient Organisms

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Life has existed on the Earth for a pretty long time, perhaps longer than you might imagine. Biology seems pretty resilient, though, there have been five major mass extinctions (the last of the five killed off the dinosaurs) -- and at least 20 total mass extinction events over the last half billion years or so. Maybe we're working on the sixth major extinction event by messing around with nuclear weapons or the Large Hadron Collider. Or perhaps we'll bring back something from the past that we'll regret. Here are a few of examples of ancient organisms that we might not want to revive. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
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Filed Under: biology, biotech, cloning, extinction, moss, permafrost, resuscitation, silene stenophylla, virus, woolly mammoth


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  1. identicon
    Thorsten Roggendorf, 22 Mar 2014 @ 4:19am

    The sixth extinction

    The sixth extinction is in full progress and it don't need no nukes. It is not even a modern phenomenon. Apparently African fauna had time to adapt to human hunting pressure but once humans left Africa we built a traceable path of destruction. Obviously we came back to Africa with better gear and made ends meet there, too.
    The phenomenon of the sixth extinction is known at least since the mid nineties when Leaky and others wrote a book about it. The extinction rate is on par with the 5 great extinctions since the cambrian explosion (half a billion years ago) and it currently looks like the total extinction ratio will be among the worst of these six events.
    Personally I believe the problem is at least equally grave as climate change the latter is the much better brand, though.

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