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  #1    
Old April 5th, 2013, 01:43 AM
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Okay.

http://empowrd.org/duck-gives-birth-...tinct-species/

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A duck has fathered a chicken. Yes, really! Scientists from Dubai’s Central Veterinary Research Laboratory say they have succeeded in using one species to produce another, a new technique which could be used to bring extinct species back to life.

To achieve the interspecies-produced offspring, researchers injected a male duck embryo with chicken germ cells — those cells responsible for producing gametes (sperm or eggs). And as the duck grew into sexual maturity, its body began to produce reproductive cells belonging to the other species, allowing it to breed with a hen to create a chick.

Using this same technique, researchers believe that one day chickens could be modified with DNA from other bird types, like eagles or songbirds, to breed offspring belonging to a species not their own — including those previously wiped out of existence.

Mike McGrew, a scientist working with the team in Dubai, says that the hope is to one day ”use this system to propagate endangered species or potentially bring back an extinct one.”
Well damn. So, we've got ducks giving birth to chickens now and only God knows what sort of advances in conservation and re-introduction of previously extinct species this could lead to. Pretty crazy stuff going on right here.

What do you think of this? Is what they're doing acceptable or not?

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  #2    
Old April 5th, 2013, 01:51 AM
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Suddenly a very painful Jurassic Park flashback >_<
What if next, a sheep gives birth to a human? D:
Wow that would, uhm, that would be awkward...

But no in all seriousness, this is astounding! The possibilities of this kind of research and in turn application, are limitless! This is like a huge step forward in fixing a world we've broken, I really can't wait to see more study on this and hopefully even more trials!
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  #3    
Old April 5th, 2013, 01:56 AM
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Well, I dunno if that's a good or bad thing, but I'm definitely impressed. Maybe we could bring back the Dodo, or save the Tiger and Pandas from extinction!

The only risk I fear is the wipeout of real chickens. Apart from that, it's amazing how far science has gone. It still would take a long time though.
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  #4    
Old April 5th, 2013, 04:17 AM
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I'm sure the chicken duck would be delicious XD

Anyway... reviving extinct species... why?
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Old April 5th, 2013, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by TRIFORCE89 View Post
I'm sure the chicken duck would be delicious XD

Anyway... reviving extinct species... why?
Why not? Scientific curiosity. Our obligation to fix what we broke (Because one way or another, man has had a hand in making many species extinct). It's interesting and very intriguing! Not to mention that scientists today have never had the chance to study some of the many species that went extinct before our time!

Knowledge is power as they say! Not to mention that this doesn't just applies to extinct cats and dinosaurs, it applies to insects and plants and dozens of other extinct living organisms which could help us widen our medical technology and/or treatments and what not.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 04:31 AM
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Why not? Scientific curiosity. Our obligation to fix what we broke (Because one way or another, man has had a hand in making many species extinct). It's interesting and very intriguing! Not to mention that scientists today have never had the chance to study some of the many species that went extinct before our time!

Knowledge is power as they say! Not to mention that this doesn't just applies to extinct cats and dinosaurs, it applies to insects and plants and dozens of other extinct living organisms which could help us widen our medical technology and/or treatments and what not.
Because, while that's a noble endeavour it wouldn't end there. Don't think we need to start bringing back critters for our entertainment

And I don't think a duck's going to give birth to a plant. For some reason I think this would be limited to bird/reptiles, etc.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by TRIFORCE89 View Post
Because, while that's a noble endeavour it wouldn't end there. Don't think we need to start bringing back critters for our entertainment

And I don't think a duck's going to give birth to a plant. For some reason I think this would be limited to bird/reptiles, etc.
This was just a test trial. It's genetic modification and implantation, with further research it can be applied to seeds and mammals and much more!
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Old April 5th, 2013, 06:27 AM
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Throw a turkey in there so we can have Turducken!

This is really cool though. Change it around a bit, and we could use Elephants to bring back mammoths.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 06:59 AM
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I know interspecies breeding has already existed in the past, but their offspring are always hybrids rather than pure species from one of the parents (e.g. Liger). This news articles sounds like something out of Pokemon, where only the offspring takes the species as its mother rather than the father.
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  #10    
Old April 5th, 2013, 08:08 AM
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It's not really a hybrid, in the sense that each cell has a mixture of chicken/duck DNA. They used premordial germ cells (PGC), which are basically cells that can differentiate into reproductive cells, among other types - so it's more accurate to describe the duck as having a mixture of discretely chicken and duck cells, they are chimeras. Only 30% of the PGC's transferred actually ended up in sex organs, so the duck might have chicken cells in its brain and other organs. But it's more or less just a duck with chicken sperm. What's amazing is how they accomplished this without any genetic modification to the duck or chicken - the two species are compatible enough for this to occur naturally.
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  #11    
Old April 5th, 2013, 08:22 AM
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I find this really cool. Ir could help save endangered species, so Im for it to be used for that.
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  #12    
Old April 5th, 2013, 09:00 AM
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I'm amazed by this, science really has outdone itself this time round. The thing here is though, I'm amazed by the development of this but I'm very much against bringing back the majority of extinct species. The way I see it, it would be okay to bring back a single specimen of a fairly averagely sized animal to study its behaviour but we shouldn't try to repopulate the Earth with animals that natural selection has already killed off. So no mammoths, no diprotodons and sure as hell no dinosaurs - assuming it was even possible to do so since it is probably impossible to find gametes from any of those.

I definitely agree with using this development to try and repopulate any species that is going extinct because of human involvement, and maybe even trying to bring back Dodos or Tasmanian Tigers, but I honestly don't see much point if it will be a futile endeavour (meaning we'll just kill them off again).
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Old April 5th, 2013, 09:03 AM
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Nothing is static though. Mammoths could find themselves a new niche in the tundras. Many species die out for no good reason other than luck. It's not a bad thing, nor is it "unnatural" to give them a second chance.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BlahISuck View Post
Nothing is static though. Mammoths could find themselves a new niche in the tundras. Many species die out for no good reason other than luck. It's not a bad thing, nor is it "unnatural" to give them a second chance.
Mammoths dies out as the result of all the ice melting, the got too hot and died. So as for them finding a niche in the tundras here's why that won't work

1. The tundras are getting hotter, they'll end up just dying out again.

2. They'll have to compete with current wildlife for food and there isn't an animal in the tundras today that could compete with a heard of mammoths.

3. They won't be prey for the same reason. So it will work like this: Mammoths eat vegetation, other herbivores have no food and die out leaving only mammoths and a few other species. Carnivores are then left with primarily mammoths and each other as prey options. The carnivores will then kill each other off because they can't take on the mammoths and eventually only mammoths will be left and a whole ecosystem is dead.

As for it not being unnatural. It is very unnatural. Mammoths (still using your example) had their shot and couldn't cut it, so they died out. It's called natural selection and without it we wouldn't have ever evolved and nor would any other species of animal alive today. There is nothing more unnatural then reintroducing a species that has already died out because of natural reasons. Reintroducing an extinct species is no better than the Cane Toad crisis here in Australia, and would probably be even more disastrous since at least Cane Toads have predators. I wouldn't put the reintroduction of extinct species on the same level as some of the other things humans have done to the environment but it is in the same league.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 10:15 AM
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I agree with your 3 principles, but I maintain the optimism, arguing upon the same principles, that Mammoths can find a new niche. Invasive species are all about adaptation in a difference in space. I don't see why we should immediately disregard the possibility of adaptation through time.

It's not unnatural, because that word doesn't mean anything. Many ecological processes are subject to stochasticity, basically chaos. Mammoths are large mammals with low birth rates and long generation periods meaning the loss of any one animal is significant. A bad year in terms of famine or disease could wipe out subpopulations that are not replenished. This is a difficulty faced by all large mammals, whether you're dealing with elephants, lions, it whales.

Natural selection is not the survival of the fittest, which is a common misperception. There is no progression from less capable to more capable species.
Adaptivity must be contextuallized in terms of space and time. If the conditions that caused the mammoths to die out in the first place are gone, then they would be more adaptive now than they were when they went extinct. And like I said above, bad luck plays a factor. The scenarios you describe are possibilities, but I would not say a definite no because ecosystems are complex systems and I would not make your conclusions with little context.


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Old April 5th, 2013, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by TRIFORCE89 View Post
Because, while that's a noble endeavour it wouldn't end there. Don't think we need to start bringing back critters for our entertainment

And I don't think a duck's going to give birth to a plant. For some reason I think this would be limited to bird/reptiles, etc.
It has nothing to do with entertainment, it has everything to do with scientific progress. First, having actual, physical specimens of long-extinct species would help us learn more about the world as it was thousands of years ago. The biological techniques we master in the process of bringing these creatures back could be applied to other areas of science. And bringing back species we caused to go extinct could save ecosystems that we might have otherwise permanently screwed up. Don't be so short-sighted.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by gimmepie View Post
Mammoths dies out as the result of all the ice melting, the got too hot and died. So as for them finding a niche in the tundras here's why that won't work

1. The tundras are getting hotter, they'll end up just dying out again.

2. They'll have to compete with current wildlife for food and there isn't an animal in the tundras today that could compete with a heard of mammoths.

3. They won't be prey for the same reason. So it will work like this: Mammoths eat vegetation, other herbivores have no food and die out leaving only mammoths and a few other species. Carnivores are then left with primarily mammoths and each other as prey options. The carnivores will then kill each other off because they can't take on the mammoths and eventually only mammoths will be left and a whole ecosystem is dead.

As for it not being unnatural. It is very unnatural. Mammoths (still using your example) had their shot and couldn't cut it, so they died out. It's called natural selection and without it we wouldn't have ever evolved and nor would any other species of animal alive today. There is nothing more unnatural then reintroducing a species that has already died out because of natural reasons. Reintroducing an extinct species is no better than the Cane Toad crisis here in Australia, and would probably be even more disastrous since at least Cane Toads have predators. I wouldn't put the reintroduction of extinct species on the same level as some of the other things humans have done to the environment but it is in the same league.
Wasn't it mostly because of early humans, who arrived to the Americas from the land bridge, hunted them down to extinction, according to my anthropology class? Due to this, wouldn't reviving the mammoth from extinction technically count as being on the same ranks as the Dodo and the Tasmanian Tiger?
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Old April 5th, 2013, 06:35 PM
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Wasn't it mostly because of early humans, who arrived to the Americas from the land bridge, hunted them down to extinction, according to my anthropology class? Due to this, wouldn't reviving the mammoth from extinction technically count as being on the same ranks as the Dodo and the Tasmanian Tiger?
Yeah, I would also like to mention, that with the advent of human-smarticles, even though the more "liberal" ones among us would like to remind us that humans are just another species and not much different, that human intelligence has altered pretty much everything that it has come in contact with and can't be counted under "natural processes". Not to say there wasn't a brilliant species of dragonfly or whatever in the distant past or that we're special by any definition of the word, but we aren't "natural" because we affected so much more than any other recent species.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 06:45 PM
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We should throw out this appeal to what's "natural" vs "unnatural". Anything we don't like or is counter-conservative is "unnatural". It's so vague and absolutely meaningless. For is not everything we do according to our human nature? So how can it be unnatural? And even if it's been touched by man, what's wrong about it being "unnatural" if we accept that label? The language serves no purpose but to appeal to an ideal that doesn't really exist, or exists selectively depending on the argument. I would much rather us be clearer about exactly why "unnatural" is bad so as to promote understanding instead of labelling.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 06:54 PM
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Everything is natural, but we should be on the lookout for harmful stuff.

Botulism is natural, but it produces the most potent and deadly toxin on the planet. So should we allow botulism to be sold because of the "natural"?

Most medicine is unnatural, but it's a huge saver of lives. So should we ban medicine because of the "unnatural"?
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Old April 5th, 2013, 06:57 PM
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Exactly. The language is super confusing because the Good does not necessarily equal the Natural. Or vice versa. Anyways, I wanna see more duck-chicken chimeras because then I might get the leanness of chicken breast with the taste of duck.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 07:56 PM
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Exactly. The language is super confusing because the Good does not necessarily equal the Natural. Or vice versa. Anyways, I wanna see more duck-chicken chimeras because then I might get the leanness of chicken breast with the taste of duck.
Alright, I'm sold.

We could invent some super magical delicious animal. Like a real turducken
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Old April 6th, 2013, 06:55 PM
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I just hope that we don't end up making more of a mess using this technology. Also they have yet to see if the Chicken born will be able to produce another Chicken...what if it turned out to produce a duck like her father...
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Old April 6th, 2013, 06:59 PM
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I just hope that we don't end up making more of a mess using this technology. Also they have yet to see if the Chicken born will be able to produce another Chicken...what if it turned out to produce a duck like her father...
That's kinda impossible. The chick wasn't born by mating a Rooster with a Duck :p
The chick came to by means of Genetic Implantation, so it's genome is 100% chicken. Unless of course the genome is 50-50 and the chicken's genes are all dominant :/ (Again, impossible. Or at least improbable heh).
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Old April 6th, 2013, 07:12 PM
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The duck embryo was implanted with chicken stem cells. These cells were so "stem" that they not only divided into sex cells, but other cells as well. It's a mix of 100% chicken DNA and 100% duck DNA, making it a chimera. My bad, it's not a chimera. Chimeras develop when you have at least two cell populations from two fertilized eggs. Mosaicism occurs when this happens from a single fertilized egg. This, I guess would be completely different because the "other" genetic material was introduced artificially. But this kind of having two different cell populations at the same time can occur in humans, and is responsible for some of our sex chromosome diseases like Kleinfelters and XYY and stuff we learned in sex ed.

Imagine we were implanted with gorilla stem cells. We might have gorilla sperm XD As well as gorilla muscles/skin or whatever depending on where those stem cells migrate to and how they differentiate.
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