Scientists hoping to bring an extinct species back to life have set their sights on reviving the dodo.
flightless bird, native to mauritiusNotoriously became extinct in the 1600’s as hunting by sailors and invasive species brought to Indian Ocean islands by their ships destroyed its habitat.
But it’s been more than 400 years since the bird was last recorded, and scientists are hoping to spark a stunning Jurassic Park-style return.
US-based Colossal Biosciences, which announced plans to bring back the mammoth two years ago, now says it wants to bring back the iconic bird, too.
The company is located in dallas, Texashas raised an additional $150m (£121m) to support the project.
The company hopes to be able to recreate the dodo bird through DNA – just like the fictional expert in 1993 steven spielberg Movie.
inside Hollywood Bombshell, scientists have brought dinosaurs back to life by combining dinosaur DNA from mosquito fossils embedded in amber with frog DNA.
In the real world, experts at Colossal Biosciences hope to extract DNA from the Nicobar pigeon, a close relative of the dodo, and edit them into cells similar to those of the dodo.
Beth Shapiro, a molecular biologist on Colossal’s scientific advisory board, thinks that putting these tweaked cells into the developing eggs of other birds, such as pigeons or chickens, might produce offspring that naturally produce dodo eggs. The dodo has been studied for two decades.
For the dodo, the concept is still in its early theoretical stages.
Ms Shaprio’s team now plans to study the DNA differences between the Nicobar pigeon and the dodo to understand “what is the gene that really makes the dodo the dodo”.
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But Ms Shaprio warns that it is “impossible to recreate a 100% identical copy of something that has disappeared”.
That’s because animals are a product of their genetics and their environment — and the environment has changed dramatically since the last time the dodo was seen in the 1600s.
Meanwhile, other scientists are skeptical of the project’s idea, warning that efforts to “eliminate extinction” would divert attention and funding away from efforts to save species on Earth.
“If we destroy nature, we can put it back together, which is really dangerous — because we can’t,” said Duke University ecologist Stuart Pym.
“Where on earth would you put a mammoth except in a cage?”
Boris Worm, a biologist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, added: “Preventing species extinction in the first place should be our top priority, and in most cases, the cost of doing so much lower.”