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Award-winning Biologist Offers Fresh Hope for Species Resurrection
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
The Sixth Extinction is upon us, and this time the depopulation of the planet is Man’s fault. But the upside of mankind is his mind, and breakthrough technologies could save at least some of the species on the brink of extinction. Through genetic sequencing, futuristic but foreseeable genetic editing technologies and an enormous amount of work, extinct animals could even be resurrected, according to bioinformatics expert David Haussler, one of whose missions is to collect and study the genomes of as many animal species as possible – for the greater good of humanity.
Saving species isn’t just a moral question of fixing the damage we have done, says Haussler, professor of biomolecular engineering at the University of California in Santa Cruz and scientific director of the Santa Cruz Genomics Institute.
“At least some animals have remarkable properties in their genes that we are just starting to recognize and understand, which could be of great benefit – like why the naked mole-rat lives five times as long as rats, and doesn’t get cancer, either. That could be a useful trait to study and adopt, if we can,” he explains in conversation with Haaretz.
Full article at Haaretz.
Photo by Roman Klementschitz