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Resurrecting extinct species raises ethical questions

New book ponders technical and philosophical challenges of de-extinction

By
7:00am, October 20, 2017
illustration of mammoths

BRINGING ‘EM BACK ALIVE  Scientists think they have the tools to transform elephants into woolly mammoths (illustrated) and reverse extinction. A new book explores the promise and pitfalls of de-extinction.

Rise of the Necrofauna
Britt Wray
Greystone Books, $26.95

A theme park populated with re-created dinosaurs is fiction. But if a handful of dedicated scientists have their way, a park with woolly mammoths, passenger pigeons and other “de-extincted” animals could become reality.

In Rise of the Necrofauna, writer and radio broadcaster Britt Wray presents a comprehensive look at the unprecedented technical difficulties of raising the dead, plus the deep philosophical questions surrounding de-extinction.

The aim of current de-extinction efforts is to use gene-editing tools to engineer living species to re-create extinct cousins, such as engineering a woolly mammoth from an elephant. This &ldquo

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