Cloning Endangered Species

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that:

Scientists have for the first time created a healthy clone of an endangered species, offering powerful evidence that cloning technology can play a role in preserving and even reconstituting threatened and endangered species.

The animal in question is a Javan banteng, but who knows where it will lead?

Let's just hope the politicians don't get control of this, or else we'll be stuck with clones of dinosaurs like Strom Thurmond and Robert Byrd.

[Link via Drudge]

NEXT: Packin' Heat

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  1. “It let out this big bellow and everybody cheered,” said Robert Lanza, a scientist with Advanced Cell Technology, a Worcester, Mass., company that collaborated in the project with the Zoological Society of San Diego and an Iowa high-tech cattle reproduction company.

    I don’t see how you can condone the involvment of a *public zoo* in this enterprise. And you call yourselves a libertarian zine; shame on you! Shame on you! C’mon guys, enough of this communist nonsense. Get a grip!

  2. It would be interesting to see if there’s ever been a comparison of public zoos to private zoos, or even how many public zoos there are. I’ve only been to one private zoo that I know of in the US, at Busch Gardens in Tampa, and it was excellent, better than most public zoos I’ve been to here.

    On the other hand it was the opposite in England, where the private zoos were owned by former Aristocrats who had to open their estates and menageries to the public in order to raise funds to support the upkeep of their manors…

  3. hey look, even the best of us fall to temptation! get a grip indeedy 😀

    No one, not even a philosopher, is morally obligated to live as if the world were the way he wishes it were. Robert Nozick pays taxes and is entitled to enjoy the government benefits they finance–even benefits he thinks should not exist. Perhaps the libertarian philosopher should not be expected to opt out of rent control voluntarily. But should he be pursuing his landlord through the maze of rent control regulations like a man possessed? And should he be using his ability to make a nuisance of himself under these regulations for simple, if lawful, cash extortion?

  4. Madog–

    I grew up in Atlanta, and got to see what zoo privatization did firsthand. When I was a young kid (and the zoo was run by the city) I remember going to see Willie B the gorilla in his 20×30-foot cage with a tire swing and a television. No joke.

    They privatized sometime in the late 80’s (I think) and since then have become one of the better zoos in the country, on par with San Diego. Open-air enclosures, great educational programs, and generally a well-maintained zoo.

    Too bad the city has yet to apply the logic of this success to Hartsfield Airport…

  5. Wooly Mammoths!
    Wooly Mammoths!
    Wooly Mammoths!
    Wooly Mammoths!
    Wooly Mammoths!

  6. I guess the issue will be whether these cloned animals will have the same problems as Dolly, or other problems that seem to be associated with cloning, and whether the scientists have the ability as of yet to workaround or otherwise nullify these problems. Not much point of cloning an endangered species when it has a significantly impaired ability to live.

  7. Of course, another thing to consider here is why animals go extinct in the first place…

    Man has certainly been responsible for hunting a few species to extinction or destroying their habitats…and maybe that isn’t a good thing…but lots of species went extinct long before we showed up on the scene. Extinction is just another part of the process.

    Is it neccessarily a good thing for us–if we gain the ability to do so–to prevent any and all species from going extinct? Isn’t that “screwing with nature” just as much as hunting them into extinction would be?

  8. yeah, but maybe they’re like replicants! ‘The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long’ 😀 and maybe when they ramp up production enough we’ll be able to eat them! like in the freshman 😀

  9. I had a friend in middle school who had an older brother who had pock marks all over his face. When I asked my friend why that was he said “because my mother had a bad case of acne when she got pregnant with him.”

    In later years I’ve noticed that whenever I know two brothers–and they have thinning hair–it is always always the younger brother who loses his hair first. (and not by age, even by the calender–i.e. younger goes bald in ’87 at age 22, older goes bald in ’94 at age 34).
    I’ve surmised that this is because their father was older when the younger son was conceived.

    Let’s suppose that these examples are evidence that the genes passed at conception pass on traits that reflect the parents as they ARE at the time. Cloning would then be copying an adult of a species, with all the “trappings” of adulthood, rather the creation of a new individual in the way that nature had constructed procreation. Perhaps this would explain the premature aging of Dolly.

    Since animals go through predetermined growth stages from embryos to birth to adolescence to menopause to death (and so your genes, DNA, etc always “know” hold you are), perhaps cloning a baby from an adult’s DNA creates a confused metabolism.

    I’m just saying, that’s all.

  10. The one thing I notice about private zoos is that poor people can’t afford to go to them. The poor children can only see exotic animals on stolen cable.

    (Phil, people are born with the predisposition to adult acne, it’s a regular part of the rotten gene package. But thanks for playing.)

  11. The one thing I notice about private zoos is that poor people can’t afford to go to them. The poor children can only see exotic animals on stolen cable.

    (Phil, people are born with the predisposition to adult acne, it’s a regular part of the rotten gene package. But thanks for playing.)

  12. I’m with Bob! Let’s hold those rare creatures in abeyance, and get on with the really cool stuff. If they can use some of that frozen mammoth tissue to clone a mammoth, I’ll even vote to spend some of my tax money on it.

  13. mmmmM… Wooly Mammoth steaks… *droolZ*

  14. good point eh.

  15. Tuning Spork, you have a call holding from a Dr. Lamarck on line one. He’d like to talk to you about what kinds of information can and can’t be passed on genetically, and how they can’t absorb traits which their bearers obtain later in life, like an acne outbreak.

  16. um cloning is a worthy cause, if this is gonna save some of our endangered species then so be it but if is gonna make them genetically incompatible with normal species then it shouldn’t happen!

  17. I think we should try cloning to the mammoth.science can do everything right.Even it takes year,one day there will be great to know we have it

  18. We Agree!

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