The Walking Dead

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Recent breakthroughs in biotechnology have now made it possible to materialise what once appeared to be purely fictional - the revival of extinct species. As humans, we are naturally inclined to wonder as to what life on earlier Earth once entailed. Whether it is by pondering: fossils, skeletons, or our own imaginings we have an innate curiosity to uncover the secrets of our prehistoric ancestors. It is therefore no surprise that there is an imminent buzz surrounding the cutting edge idea, that is de-extinction.

The concept which once seemed as though it was confined to the green screens of “Jurassic Park” has surprisingly already manifested into reality. This was established by a team of
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For this reason the “success” of this experiment is somewhat questionable as some argue it is simply a failed attempt.
The method outlined above known as cloning, is one of many which have been proposed to solve the conundrum of de-extinction. Although cloning is one of the more popular methods, the combination of research and cutting edge technology has significantly evolved our understanding of biochemistry and genetics; leading to the development of a concept known as “reverse engineering”. This is how geneticists today envision bringing back the passenger pigeon. The passenger pigeon which once ruled the North American skies, quickly diminished in population, as a result of changing habitat and avid hunters. The death of the passenger pigeon marked the end of a species in 1912. As this was many decades ago, the cells of the passenger pigeon were not banked. This poses a problem for scientists as it requires a large amount of effort and skill to piece together an incomplete DNA sequence. Once a completed genome is recovered, scientists intend to sequence the genome of the extinct bird and close a relative who is currently extant. They will then study the differences and similarities between their DNA sequences. With this information alterations can be made to the genome of the band tailed pigeon, the currently extant relative, to create a bird which is physically and genetically
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