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re:Quatenary Park and Apology
First off, let me humbly apologize to the list members that recvd an
automatically generated e-mail informing them of my abscence from the office. I
must have accidentally included the listserv on the agent. I made sure that it
will never happen again. To those that sent me a "hate" mail as a response......
Re: Quatenary Park:
snipped: disagree with this argument. For keeping extant species alive, we are
>trying to maintain existing ecosystems. Bringing back extinct species
>would be to modify ecosystems.
One of the points I have raised previously on the list is the possibility that
even before extensive ecosystem destruction by man, our planet's ecosystems
were very much in flux. One has to wonder if there has been enough time for
ecosystems to stabilize since the recession of the last ice age. Given that we
are still in a Glacial Age, how do we determine what kind of ecosystems need to
be present to preserve species not only through this interglacial, but through
the next glaciation event and beyond?
>Understandably, there is a fine line
>as to recently lost species.
While the debate is far from settled, there is strong reason to believe that
man is responsible for the extinction of Mammoths and Mastadons in N.A.. Humans
do not need bulldozers and chainsaws to cause extinctions. If there is habitat
suitable for moose and elk, there should be room for elephantids. The only
thing for sure is that CURRENTLY, there is no suitable habitat for long-term
sustainability of mammoths anywhere but a zoo.
>As far as bringing back a mammoth is concerned, I believe the goal there
>is different. I can't imagine that anyone really expects to restore a
>species in this manner, I doubt they will succeed any further than
>creating an interesting zoo animal. From a scientific perspective, I
>find it very intriguing, and would be dying to follow any results of the
>work. If nothing else, it will give us an idea of how well we can read
>the fossil record, at least the recent fossil record.
Surely economic interests are driving this experiment, but be forewarned, if
successful, a true mammoth will NOT be produced. The concept is simple: combine
two well known procedures:(1) embryo transfer; (2) cloning techniques that
involve stripping an ovum of its DNA and implanting the DNA of another mammoth.
What is not clearly understood is the uterine enviroment. How will the uterine
enviornment of an Elephant impact the developing Mammoth fetus? There is a
chance it will NEVER come to term. There is also the likelihood that the
uterine enviroment will "modify" the phenotype of the fetus. This however is
not an "easy" experiment to try. I have performed several embryo transfers
before and while not terribly difficult on say a sheep, an elephant would pre
sent all kinds of problems due to their great size. Speaking of which, an
embryo transfer requires two surgical procedures, not just one! Secondly, the
PETA people would go nuts if UNNECCESSARY surgery were performed on what is
surely one of the "more intelligent" animals we share this planet with.