Also in today's links: stopping shopping, spooks' looks and more.
- Why is it easy to rack up credit card purchases, while it hurts to pay cash? Blame (or thank) a part of the brain called the insula.
- Has your insula not stood you well? Well, at some point the world might end, clearing the slate of all your debts. Here's a list of how we might all go, such as bumping into a black hole or stumbling into the sun (based on the premise that there's no way global warming could do us in -- it's just a bit pesky for people who live on some coasts!).
- Supposing we get to the point where we can clone extinct animals, only certain species were around recently enough or preserved in certain conditions such that scientists would have a good chance of getting workable DNA. Here's a list of some possible candidates. Personally, I vote for the giant ground sloth and the Irish elk, because I love the idea of megafauna -- familiar in appearance, but horror-movie sized.
- Once again: there ought to be more pictures! Scientists dusted mice with fluorescent green, pink, blue, yellow and orange talcum powder, then watched to see which ones fought most -- as evidenced by a "colored bite mark" on victims -- and mated most often, to assess which ones were most likely to spread hantavirus through direct contact.
- The appropriately named brownsnout spookfish has mirrors that focus the light onto its eyes, apparently the single such instance of this trait in vertebrate evolution. When you live 1,000 meters below the sea, you got to evolve what you got to evolve.
We are cloning a woolly mammoth, why not a dodo. Perhaps they taste very good and could replace chicken.
Sure, let's mess around with nature and re-introduce species that might do damage to the current state of nature or who might just struggle to survive again. Look at the mess we make when we introduce "beneficial" insects to locations that aren't their native habitat. We need to keep our hands off some things in this world.
Just out of interest, do clone animals count as God's creations? or Human creations?
well since nothing is gods creation, then obviously it would be a human creation. duh
1) It makes little sense to clone animals that have gone extinct while we watch others die out all arround us. As the article mentions, who would ressurrect the Wooly Rhino when normal Rhinos are on the edge?
2) Cloning one creature is not going to save a species. It takes two to tango (and by tango I mean reproduce sexually). That means two viable, healthy clones, of differing gender, surviving to adulthood, breeding sucessfully, and having enough progeny to continue the process.
3) The creature you get might not be historically accurate. Flaws in the DNA, flaws in the genetic code of your sample animals while alive, and the flaws caused by the first few generations of inbreeding necessary to rebuild the species might mean subtle, but meaningful differences in the animals created. It would certianly reduce variety in the species (imagine doing this with two random humans, not only would you not reflect the variety of human races, you would likely end up with a line of humans with distinct genetic traits not common in the whole of humanity, such as a Roman nose, freckles, or attached earlobes).
4) $$$$$$$ Most zoos barely break even and depend on endowments, tax breaks, and other avenues for income. Propagating a species is exspensive enough by normal means (Cheetas, for example). You might get the millions to start it for the "cool" factor, once a species is reestablished, raising money for a few hundred pounds of clover every day is far less appealing to the giving populous.
5) I can't say enough how difficult it would be to raise an extinct clone to adulthood and breeding age would be. Little would be known of the animals diet, behavior, or tolerances. This would be particularly true of animals that faced a natural, rather than manmade, extinction. There are also considerations like intestional biotics, often passed from traditional parents, which may have died out with its host. Also, not all animals breed freely in captivity.
Consider the great difficulty in keeping the great panda in captivity. (1) restrictive diet, (2) unique biotics, (3) behavior that often interferes with breeding, (4) extending and difficult breeding process. With over a dozen unique genetic couples in captivity, the panda's future is not secure. How much more so for an animal with only one couple, where a simple infection could lead to the death of a multi-million dollar animal to produce.