An extinct ibex brought back from the dead.

An extinct Ibex was brought back to life via cloning. The last one went extinct in 2000. The new one died from a lung disorder. Details, details—where’s my mammoth burger?

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

6 replies on “An extinct ibex brought back from the dead.”

  1. Sadly, the newborn ibex kid died shortly after birth due to physical defects in its lungs. Other cloned animals, including sheep, have been born with similar lung defects.

    Almost there. There are still unexplained deformities and defects arising from the cloning process.

  2. Tim,

    Yeah, but we don’t *need* to solve those problems for cloning to work in terms of bringing back an extinct species. If 100 attempts gets us 2 or 3 healthy ibexes then we can start breeding those (probably having to cross them with another species of Ibex and then breed back to the main line in order to get some genetic diversity?) and there we are. My understanding is that those problems with deformities and high fetal and infant mortality is first generation only and that the offspring of the 1% that survive will be fine.

    Regarding mammoths, it’s purely a matter of money now. We basically have the genome and the technology. $10M or so will get us to a cloned mammoth, although then I assume that another $5M at least would be necessary to provide food, shelter, habitat and veterinary care to the cloned mammoth and its elephant mother and preferably a few other elephants in order that the mammoth enjoy a healthy social development.

    It is truly possible that in our lifetimes it could be possible for us to literally eat a woolly mammoth steak. You’ve got to figure that it would tend to have more fat than elephant meat, what with having evolved to deal with a very cold climate. And the fat would be distributed differently in order to serve as insulation. I think it would absolutely taste different then ordinary African or Asian elephant meat.

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