The maker of Dolly the cloned sheep has claimed that his procedure will most likely save endangered species from extinction.
Cloning may be a last resort. Especially when it comes to rare species of animals that are in great danger of being wiped off the face of the planet by the interventionist ways of mankind.
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Sir Ian Wilmut, who along with his group of genetic engineers, gave life to Dolly the sheep, has a plan. For one thing, he wants to open a sperm and egg bank where different species will have their gametes preserved in a frozen state. These samples can then be used to generate these rare species when the chances of them going extinct go through the roof.
Such a methodology could truly revolutionize the efforts of conservationists and environmentalists. Animal rights will take on a whole new meaning thanks to this scheme.
Accoridng to Guardian, the creator of Dolly has also suggested that they could freeze tissues from animals and these can be thawed and regenerated later on when the time is right.
This may in fact be the only hope our planet has as a majority of species start to go on a downward spiral due to climate change and pollution not to mention loss of habitat.
It is a sort of modern version of Noah’s Ark where the biodiversity of the planet is at stake. Via a preservation of the biological tissues and cells of the organisms, their continuity could be assured without an iota of doubt.
The only issue is that the pregnancy process will have to be accomplished via surrogates or substitute mothers from other species. IVF is not the only option though. Genetic engineering may come to the rescue here too.
By making changes in the DNA, the surviving species could be made to resemble the remnant species. Thus the chances of extinction could be minimized.
Stem cells are another alternative that could be employed in this experimental biology of the future. It is almost like resurrection though on a more ordinary level.
Two decades ago, Sir Ian Wilmut cloned Dolly the sheep. This was the first time such a wonderful thing had happened and it was looked upon as a work of pure genius.
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The way for genetic research and its many applications lies wide open. The only thing holding human beings back is the limits of their imagination.