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As scientists develop emerging technologies that allow for the cloning of animals, some researchers believe that efforts should be made to bring back long-extinct species. This endeavor, called “de-extinction,” is drawing much public attention, as well as criticism.
If de-extinction proves possible, researchers could feasibly engineer the DNA from preserved tissues of extinct species and create an approximation of lost species. However, the question remains – should that be done?
In an article published in Slate magazine’s Future Tense, Arizona State University’s Ben Minteer writes that de-extinction is not a conservation strategy and does not reflect a sound conservation ethic. Minteer, an associate professor with ASU’s School of Life Sciences, writes that he believes re-introducing extinct animals could actually undermine current conservation efforts.
In this thought-provoking article, Minteer argues that we cannot simply reverse the mistakes made by human beings by bringing back a few lost animals.
Minteer’s article appears in Future Tense, a collaboration between Arizona State University, New America and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy and culture.
To read more about Ben Minteer and de-extinction, visit the Center for Humans & Nature.