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Man closer to playing God = moves closer to cloning the extinct Tasmanian tiger


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Scientists claim they have moved a step closer to cloning the EXTINCT Tasmanian tiger.

Hmm. I wonder when this finally occurs -- and it is just a matter of time before man and technology create animal and/or human life in a test tube -- what effect this will have on mankind's belief in any god or creator? Will this be the closing curtain of the final act on the creation story written in Genesis, which was created by ancient, superstitious men? :rolleyes:

And Om said I always write essays....... shoot....and another theory goes down the tubes. :laugh:

I bet TheChosenOne can enlighten us on this topic, cuz Bulldog told me thats why he was chosen. :laugh:

Comments anyone?

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/reu/20020527/tiger.html?ct=2088.44641530053#jump

Extinct Tasmanian Tiger One Step Closer to Cloning

May 28 — Australian scientists announced on Tuesday a breakthrough in efforts to clone the extinct Tasmanian Tiger, saying they had replicated some of the animal's genes using DNA extracted from preserved male and female pups.

The scientists from the Australian Museum in Sydney said they hoped to clone a Tasmanian Tiger in 10 years if they were successful in constructing large quantities of all the genes of the Tasmanian Tiger and sequencing sections of the genome to create a genetic library of Tasmanian Tiger DNA.

"We are now further ahead than any other project that has attempted anything remotely similar using extinct DNA," Mike Archer, director of the Australian Museum, told a news conference.

"What was once nothing more than an impossible dream has just taken another giant step closer to becoming a biological reality," he said, adding that the ultimate aim was to clone a viable reproducing population of Tasmanian Tigers.

The Tasmanian Tiger (thylacine) was a dog-like carnivorous marsupial with stripes on its back that lived on the southern Australian island state of Tasmania.

The creature originally roamed Australia and Papua New Guinea, but sometime between 2,000 and 200 years ago disappeared from the Australian mainland, only to be found in Tasmania.

It took man only some 70 years to make the Tasmanian Tiger extinct, as farmers in the 1800s began shooting, poisoning, gassing and trapping the animal, blaming it for attacking sheep.

The last known Tasmanian Tiger died in 1936 and it was officially declared extinct in 1986.

COMPLEX OF GUILT

The project to bring the Tasmanian Tiger back from extinction began in 1999 when Australian Museum scientists extracted DNA from an ethanol-preserved female pup in its collection.

In 2001, further DNA was extracted from two other preserved pups — the tissue source for this DNA was bone, tooth, bone marrow and dried muscle.

Archer said the alcohol-preserved female pup's DNA had given scientists the Tasmanian Tiger's X chromosome and the other samples the male Y chromosome.

In May 2002 the museum's scientists, using the extracted DNA, replicated some of the Tasmanian Tiger's genes using a process called PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction).

"The supposedly dead DNA in fact reacts in the way live DNA does. Clearly the DNA we collected was not extinct — it works," Archer said. "It makes molecule cloning possible."

Archer said if the museum was successful it would seek to clone a viable population of Tasmanian Tigers, using the Tasmanian Devil, another carnivorous marsupial, as a host.

"We want a viable population. We don't want a strange animal pacing back and forth in a laboratory. What we want to do is put that animal back in the wild and for that we need a viable, reproducing population," he said.

But Archer said the technology for the final stage of cloning, putting the Tasmanian Tiger's genetic material into a Tasmanian Devil host cell which has been stripped of the devil's genetic material was still to be developed.

"We don't know the length of this journey. Its up to the speed with which technology keeps pace with the vision. But I am optimistic," he said.

"The Tasmanian Tiger is an iconic Australian animal, its woven in a complex web of guilt because Australians made it extinct. We need to lift this burden of guilt."

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I heard that they are clonning dogs and cats. If i had the money i would get my cats cloned.

About this extinct animal thing though im more worried about the damage to the eco-system then to the God creator complex. What if they decide to let these animals out in the wild? What if they decide to clone other animals and these animals have no natural enemies and create chaos in the eco-system?

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One could make the case Man has been "playing God" for a long time ... long before we even started cloning sheep and cows.

We invent vaccines to head off killer diseases.

We make artificial hearts, and transplant them into dying people.

We invent contraception so we can enjoy the act of procreation without necessarily inheriting nature's intended results. And of course, we sometimes abort fetuses.

We cross-breed dogs to create all manner of even screechier, fluffier playthings for Aunt Marjorie.

We engineer better tomatoes.

We create better pesticides to kill the bugs that eat our better tomatoes.

We make seedless watermelons (a concept I confess to fretting over at times).

We split atoms.

To me, the main difference between cloning from DNA from living specimens – as we have already – and DNA from dead specimens is, as the scientist said in the article, simply in finding DNA samples from dead specimens that "work." In the admittedly mind-boggling context of cloning, the difference just doesn't strike me as all THAT much of a quantum leap.

Now if/when Man gets around to conceiving, designing and creating new DNA, from scratch ... and literally inventing new complex life forms ... that would in fact be a staggering leap to me. Maybe even worth a thread or two where I wouldn't rag on Inmate's brevity-challenged tomes. :)

Still ... I don't see that this particular avenue of scientific advancement impacts the whole Creator question all that profoundly. Even as a card-carrying (Reformed Militant) Agnostic, I am prepared to accept the possibility that Someone or Something may have had a Hand in getting this whole Thing started. Our humble lab games – regardless of how chilling or thrilling they may be to us – just don't rise to the level of Universe Building and Consciousness Creating.

At least not to me.

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Cloning isn't playing God, it barely counts as copying God.

But for arguments sake, let's say that we are playing God, and He exists.

Why did he give us the brains and the ability to develop the technology capable of cloning, if he didn't expect us to use it?

Why didn't his commandments say 'Thou Shalt Not Clone!' Or more generically, 'Thou Shalt Not Be Technologically Adpet!'.

Which of his 10 commandments does cloning violate? The closest might be 'Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:' if we take cloning to imply a graven image. But we know that anthropomorphic idols was what was intended.

If you believe in God, then why do you say that we are 'playing God'? Surely God's abilities can't be so easily assumed by man.

Perhaps that's the fear of evolution and technology among that faithful, that man's abilities would make him virtually indistinguishable from God.

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Which brings up an even MORE important issue.

Why is it that we can create seedless watermelons, seedless grapes, seedless oranges and grapefruits; but I still have to suck in the seeds of lemons while drinking my sweet tea?

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Originally posted by Kilmer17

Which brings up an even MORE important issue.

Why is it that we can create seedless watermelons, seedless grapes, seedless oranges and grapefruits; but I still have to suck in the seeds of lemons while drinking my sweet tea?

This is part of the ongoing conspiricy of those who want to keep the dour look to themselves.

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My questions in regards to this article:

What is the ultimate aim of bringing back an extinct animal? Is it to rerelease the animal into the wild for the sake of maintaing diversity of animal populations? This to me is a potentially troubling development. If in the 200 years since the animal roamed the eart it's primary hunters have died off, it could potentially drasticly change the ecosystem which it is entered into. While we humans do this as a matter of course with our houseing, manufacturing plants, roads, ect. I think the question of whether we should try to minimalize these effects... is one rarely answered.

If there is no attempt to reintegrate teh species into the wild, are we simply making it because we can? Then what? Does it become a genetic freak show at some zoo, the only tasmanian tiger in existance? Sad. But maybe the knowledge that we can clone whole living organisms is worthwhile. Though didn't somebody do that with sheep awhile back?

To me the clonign of a dead species of Tigers isn't really so important except from a technical marvel aspect. My questions on cloning are more of the in between stuff when it comes to cloning people and the potential treatments origniating from cloning people's cells.

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OM,

I started out in response to some of the things that you were saying, but got way carried away and ended up following an entirely different tangent :)

So far, we seem mostly interested in re-creating animals that we have recently made extinct ourselves, the Tasmanian Tiger, and as I understand it, the Dodo. In that these were large creatures near the top of their evolutionary niches, I can understand the desire to see them brought back, and the chance that there will be little impact one their environment.

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When I meet God,

I'm going to ask Her,

What makes Her cry,

What makes Her laugh,

Is She just stars,

And indigo gas,

Does She know why,

Love has no end,

But it's dark-angel friend,

Tearing women and men,

Slowly apart

--- Hogarth (2001)

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the real danger, in my mind, is that man may begin to believe that he is an equal to God (or gods, or Allah, or any other name you wish to attach...). we are constantly playing god as we continue on with our population explosion that creates the ecological havoc that destroys organisms that have passed the test of time and competition. "man is more important than any animal" we say as we destroy another acre of rainforest. "man is more important than any animal" we say as we begin drilling for oil in alaska. "man is more important than any animal" we say as we build another development of million dollar houses. we need to stop f*cking with nature and let it recover from the damage we have alread inflicted.

if you need me to clarify, i'll do so gladly. i just don't want om breathing down my neck...

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All right, let's set the record straight:

First off, the only neck I regularly go out of my way to breath on is Lady Om's. I do this because 1) it has this wonderful little peach fuzz on the nape -- what can I do? -- and 2) properly nuzzled, this particular neck renders its owner rather crazy, and more often than not leads to the removal of multiple beans from the jar.

That established ... a) I don't see anywhere in this thread where I've breathed on anyone's neck, b)the only reason I've ever breathed anywhere NEAR Inmate's neck is because he accused me of having donut breath, and I was trying to get him to admit he was wrong, and c) if there's going to be any hositle neck-breathing-upon around here by me, it's probably not going to be on one of my brothers, it's far more likely to be upon someone who trolls by looking for trouble. And I may eat some jalapenos and raw onions first.

So there. :)

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from OPM: There has been as much or more destuction of the eco-system by nature than man could ever even try to achieve. There has also been a lot of destruction in the name of 'protecting nature'.

true nature does "destroy" the ecosystem, but this is a natural recycling of our planet. in many cases, wild fires sparked by lightning are needed for new growth to occur in old growth forests.

and i completely agree with the fact that we also damage the ecosystem by trying to save it. that's why i endorse a hands off approach and let nature run its course.

OM- i was just playin around. i used you as an excuse to limit my tirade. truth be known, it was late, i was tired, and i didn't think i was being as clear as i could or should be. good luck with lady OM :D

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I too, most assuredly, was only messing around. Except for the part about not having donut breath, of course -- beer perhaps, but not donuts.

As far as Lady Om, after 16 years of marriage (and 5 before that of warming up to the idea of it), it really isn't a matter of luck, anymore. It's about knowin' all the right buttons, and exactly how to push 'em. :)

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  • 6 years later...

Time to resurrect this 6 year old thread, and maybe the thylacine as well.

Extinct Tasmanian "tiger" DNA has clues to demise

January 12, 2009

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – DNA taken from the hair of two extinct Tasmanian "tigers" suggests the Australian marsupials last seen 70 years ago may have become too inbred to survive as a species, researchers reported on Monday.

The researchers used the method they used to study the DNA from extinct woolly mammoths' hair to get a good comparison of the gene sequences from Tasmanian tigers, formally known as thylacines, and said they hope to study other extinct animals -- and perhaps resurrect one or two of them.

"Our goal is to learn how to prevent endangered species from going extinct," said Webb Miller of Pennsylvania State University, who helped lead the international study.

"What I find amazing is that the two specimens are so similar," said Dr. Anders Gotherstrom of Uppsala University in Sweden, who worked on the study.

"There is very little genetic variation between them."

Species that have little genetic diversity are at risk of extinction -- an example is the modern-day cheetah.

"I am expecting that publication of this paper also will reinvigorate discussions about possibly bringing the extinct Tasmanian tiger back to life," Miller said in a statement.

The thylacine was a striped marsupial that closely resembled a dog. Marsupials are mammals that carry their newborn young in a pouch instead of in the womb, and they are especially common in Australia.

Many resemble mammals found in other areas of the world, something that biologists call convergent evolution.

The thylacine was hunted by European settlers and declared extinct in 1936 when the last zoo specimen died.

The research team pulled and sequenced DNA from the hair of a male thylacine brought to the U.S. National Zoo in Washington in 1902 and a female that died in the London Zoo in 1893.

They got sequences both from the nucleus of the cell, and the mitochondria, where DNA is passed down with few changes from mother to offspring.

Penn State's Stephan Schuster said the work, described in a study in the journal Genome Research, shows it is possible to use hair to resurrect extinct animals -- and perhaps to some day do so in real life.

Click on the link for the full article

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My questions in regards to this article:

What is the ultimate aim of bringing back an extinct animal? Is it to rerelease the animal into the wild for the sake of maintaing diversity of animal populations? This to me is a potentially troubling development. If in the 200 years since the animal roamed the eart it's primary hunters have died off, it could potentially drasticly change the ecosystem which it is entered into. While we humans do this as a matter of course with our houseing, manufacturing plants, roads, ect. I think the question of whether we should try to minimalize these effects... is one rarely answered.

If there is no attempt to reintegrate teh species into the wild, are we simply making it because we can? Then what? Does it become a genetic freak show at some zoo, the only tasmanian tiger in existance? Sad. But maybe the knowledge that we can clone whole living organisms is worthwhile. Though didn't somebody do that with sheep awhile back?

To me the clonign of a dead species of Tigers isn't really so important except from a technical marvel aspect. My questions on cloning are more of the in between stuff when it comes to cloning people and the potential treatments origniating from cloning people's cells.

agreed. if an animal goes extinct, there's a reason for it. Unless its caused by over-killing them at the hands of humans then they aren't our responsibility.

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They need to forget about the Tasmanian Tiger & focus on animals we don't have pictures of. The Mammoth is a good start. I'd suggest a Sabretooth Tiger next because it looks pretty cool & then once we have the "cloning extinct animals" down we can start on dinosaurs.

I've waited 16 years since watching Jurassic Park for my pet T-Rex & I'm getting a bit impatient with this lack of progress.

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