There are a lots of potential problems with de-extinction, starting with the fact that, in any rigorous way, it’s probably impossible. Recent advances in paleogenetics have made it feasible to reassemble the genomes of recently extinct animals, like the passenger pigeon and even the mammoth. But the results are inexact—there will always be uncertainties. And even then things get really tricky.
As Ed Green, a biomolecular engineer who worked on the Neanderthal Genome Project, has pointed out, replicating an animal’s genome is not the same as replicating an animal. “There are a million things that you cannot predict about an organism just from having its genome sequence,” Green said.
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