Will ‘reviving’ extinct species lead to ecological quandaries?


The gastric brooding frog is no regular frog. Like some horror story of ancient myth, it gives birth out of its mouth. […] Rather, it used to do this. The Australian amphibian was discovered in the 1970s, and by the mid 1980s, it had gone the way of 99 per cent of the four billion species that have roamed this planet. It went extinct.

Today, the gastric brooding frog is a prime target of the “Lazarus Project” of Michael Archer, a palaeontologist at University of New South Wales, who has injected its frozen DNA into the embryo of a related frog, hoping to create a hybrid.

The technology is not perfected. For example, those hybrid gastric brooding frog embryos have so far not made it past a few days of life. But as [journalist Britt] Wray tells it, the hypotheticals of de-extinction are coming true, and as they do, they create new moral quandaries and unforeseen ecological risks.

“Now it’s the time to get serious, I think, about really testing ecosystems and looking at whether or not they have the bandwidth to support a genetically modified or backbred or a cloned proxy species to live and thrive there,” Wray says.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Science is inching closer to bringing species back from extinction – but the rise of necrofauna exists

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