The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our just-released 2019 Annual Report.

genetics unzipped

Podcast: From Jurassic Park to woolly mammoths – is it right to bring back extinct species?

| November 21, 2019
HOST OVERVIEW
Kat Arney: Kat Arney, biologist and award-winning science communicator, hosts the Genetics Unzipped podcast, a project of the UK Genetics Society.    More details

Geneticist Kat Arney takes a look at the science of de-extinction, asking whether it’s feasible – or even ethical – to bring species back from the past.

In 2003, Spanish researchers used cloning techniques to bring back the recently extinct bucardo (a type of mountain goat), only for the first cloned animal to die within minutes of birth. Other scientists are using genetic engineering techniques to stitch together the genomes of extinct species like passenger pigeons and woolly mammoths with their modern-day relatives.

Could these tools ever be used to bring back the biggest animals of them all, the dinosaurs? And is all this effort really worth it, or should we be focusing on conserving the species we already have on Earth?

Arney also investigates the history of one of the most famous diagrams in biology – the Tree Of Life – which Charles Darwin famously drew in 1837 to illustrate the evolutionary relationships between species.

Related article:  Some animal species never get cancer. What can we learn from them?

Today’s trees much more complex, bushy thickets, informed by modern genomics. But all this data brings a new challenge: deciding what counts as a species in the first place.

Full transcript, credits and show notes are available here. 

Genetics Unzipped is the podcast from the UK Genetics Society, presented by award-winning science communicator and biologist Kat Arney and produced by First Create the Media.  Follow Kat on Twitter @Kat_Arney, Genetics Unzipped @geneticsunzip, and the Genetics Society at @GenSocUK

Listen to Genetics Unzipped on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) Google Play, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts

GLP Podcast Hosts

Listen to more episodes

News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.

Send this to a friend