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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bringing the Passenger Pigeon back from extinction ?!

Once, not so long ago, the Passenger Pigeon was one of the most abundant birds in North America. There were billions of them. Now they're gone. Extinct.  Due to rampant hunting, and development of its habitat, the only people who have ever seen a live one are now over 90.

However, science has reached the point where it’s (theoretically) possible

Passenger Pigeon
to bring extinct species back from the finality of extinction. In the Passenger Pigeon’s case, it involves identifying the genetic “bits” that make it a real Passenger Pigeon - creating a “genome” from DNA found in museum specimens. Next, synthesize the DNA fragments that make the bird unique. Then the modified DNA fragments are exchanged, in place of the corresponding fragments, in the genome of the common Rock Pigeon (a close cousin). The new “stem cells”, converted into “germ cells” are put into the eggs of a Rock Pigeon (I apologize in advance to all true scientists, who may see this explanation as vastly oversimplified). Then breed the result(s).

Then, the result is a true Passenger Pigeon.  Or is it?

Assuming that it can be done, should it be done? Several scientists think that, if the specie’s extinction was caused mostly by mankind, we have the responsibility to “re-create” it. That’s good for the Passenger Pigeon, but bad for things like the sabre-toothed tiger.

 Would we want a 'Jurassic Park' of Wooly Mammoths and flesh-eating birds, anyway? 
Are you paying for weeds!?      A recent university study examined ten popular brands of birdseed and found that half of them contained seeds of at least six species of weeds. SO, not only are you paying good money for the weed seeds, but they’re likely to sprout and spread in your yard; and wild birds rarely eat them. Personally I have no absolute proof of the following opinion, but I'd bet good money that the cheaper birdseed brands contain the most weed seeds. 

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