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Is it possible to bring back dead organisms to life using DNA?

  1. Jun 23, 2012 #1
    Suppose we found a perfectly preserved genome of an extinct species (maybe in a amber). Would it be possible to bring back the organism to life. (I know this question resembles Jurassic Park but I'm looking for realistic answers).

    Like let's say a mosquito or some other blood sucking organism sucked the blood of an extinct species and then got preserved in amber. Now if that piece of amber was found and the extinct species DNA was extracted would it be possible to bring back that species to life?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2012 #2
    At present, IIRC, there's no process for transferring essential epigenetic info. That's why, IIRC, the Japanese team who want to 'clone' woolly mammoths plan to use the nearest extant relative, an elephant, as host mother, hoping for sufficient commonality.
  4. Jun 23, 2012 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

  5. Jun 23, 2012 #4
    The biggest problem I see to cloning a long extinct animal is that the environment has likely changed much since it was around. People often forget that gene expression is influenced greatly by environmental factors. A tricertops embryo that develops in the modern world might grow to be deformed, have mental or behavioral problems, might not be able to breath, could have problems with overheating, or even it's enzymes or other biochemical structures might not work the way they're supposed to. Even given the genome, you'd have to try to perfectly replicate the environment that the creature developed and lived in if you wanted it to look and act the way it did in the past. Given that some behaviors are learned and passed on, you wouldn't be able to do that.
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