How Close Are We to Resurrecting Extinct Species?


[TRACE] The passenger pigeon, the gastric
brooding frog, the wooly mammoth, they all have one thing in common, they’re extinct….
dead as a dodo, if you will. In fact, scientists estimate that 5 billion
species have come and gone off this planet. But what if we could bring them back? What if extinction didn’t have to be a permanent
thing? Right now scientists are using revolutionary
new genetic techniques to try to bring back some of these species. For example the wooly mammoth could roam the
Northern Tundra. [TRACE] It sounds like a science fiction,
but it could happen. So how close are we to de-extinction? [TRACE] The woolly mammoth is an impressive
specimen. It was the king of the tundra for millions
of years. Then it rather suspiciously disappeared around
the same time that humans appeared. Most scientists think it’s likely that they
were hunted to extinction. [JACK DUMBACHER] Most of the species that
have gone extinct in recent years is because we destroyed the habitat, we’ve introduced
species, or we’ve killed them outright, like the passenger pigeons. It was hard to imagine, at the time, that
this bird species that’s so abundant could actually be hunted to extinction. But we managed to do that. [TRACE} While it’s normal for species to
die out over time because of evolution or a cataclysmic event some scientists think
the Earth is now entering a new age of mass extinction, called the Anthropocene or Holocene
extinction, caused by, you guessed it, us. Animals, plants and insects are dying out
at a rate of 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than ever before, with dozens of species going
extinct every single day. Some scientists estimate that as many as 30
to 50 percent of all species could be headed towards extinction by end of the century! But again, what if extinction didn’t have
to be a thing? What if we could bring species back at will? To do that, we’d need DNA, an egg cell,
and a birthing Mom. Which is why Jurassic Park will never be a
thing. [JACK DUMBACHER] The dinosaurs are so old,
that all those chemicals, have been turned to rock. There’s no source of DNA that we have right
now for dinosaurs, There’s no way that we could create a dinosaur, because we don’t
know what it’s genome looked like. [BEN NOVAK] We can’t get dinosaur DNA so
no Jurassic Park on the bench, but we can get DNA dating from tissue and fossils from
organisms from 10,000 years ago to 100,000 years ago so the woolly mammoth is an active
project. [TRACE] That’s right. The wooly mammoth could be a thing again! [JACK DUMBACHER] Mammoths are very different
than dinosaurs because scientists are able to go up to the Arctic, and find thawing chunks
of earth that still have frozen mammoths in them and those have DNA. And that‘s where scientist are going to
get the DNA from the mammoth in order to reconstruct its genome. That’s why mammoths are different than dinosaurs,
because we have that DNA. [TRACE] And they’re closer than you think
to bringing them back.. [BEN NOVAK] So right now .. there are cells
dividing and living in a little Petri dish at Harvard that have mammoth mutations. We have a mammoth genome. We have mammoth habitat, we have a good motivation
for doing it. We just need the filler in between who’s
making the mammoth. [TRACE] Woah woah, Ben. We’re not quite there yet. We’ve got the DNA, but it’s not exactly
perfect. DNA degrades over time, it has a half-life
of about 521 years. Meaning we need to fix any mammoth DNA before
we can clone it. Cloning is the closest thing we have to reviving
extinct animals right now. And we’re not bad at it! Remember Dolly the sheep? Now we regularly clone cattle, pigs, camels,
frogs, lab rats, and even your pet dog! Now, even with perfect DNA cloning is really
hard, but they can make DNA even more perfect by editing it. [BEN NOVAK] The revolutionary technology that
made considering de-extinction possible which also opens up all those new genetic rescue
capabilities is what’s known as precise genome editing. It’s using things like CRISPR Cas9, or talens,
or megaTALs. [TRACE] In case you haven’t heard of it,
CRISPR Cas9 is an editing tool for DNA. It’s able to go through millions of strands
of DNA, locate a specific genome and remove or add to it. In de-extincting the Mammoth – scientists
are using the DNA of an Asian Elephant and replacing parts with a mammoth’s DNA. To make a ‘mammophant’. A name I hate. So, we have cloning technology, we’ve got
elephant and mammoth DNA that we can edit together, and the plan is to try to artificially
inseminate an Asian Elephant mom to carry the baby. But, just because you bring back one mammoth
that doesn’t mean de-extinction. De-extinction by definition, is bringing back
a whole species. And just because we can bring the wooly mammoth
back … should we? [JACK DUMBACHER] I think sometimes people
think about de-extinction like, oh you wouldn’t it be cool to have a passenger pigeon, or
a California grizzly, or some other species? But, it’s not just about that species and
it being cool. Sometimes it’s about, those species have a
role in the ecosystem, which is now empty.Jack: A great example, that a lot of people are
aware of, is wolves in Yellowstone…we’ve seen huge changes in the ecosystem in Yellowstone,
that people are attributing to the wolves, [TRACE] So if we do put a mammoth back into
the world, what would happen? Where would it go? What would it eat? If mammoths ate up all the grasses, what would
happen to other herbivores in the Tundra? If the wolves of Yellowstone can change the
course of a river, what would a herd of mammoths do? [JACK DUMBACHER] I’m not sure I’m comfortable
with releasing weird, hairy Asian elephants into the tundra. [BEN NOVAK] Once you have your animals, breed
them up in captivity, condition them for the wild, put them back into the wild and that’s
where you start getting into all of your ethical questions of whether or not we should or should
not be doing this. [JACK DUMBACHER] Wooly mammoths have been
extinct and one question is “has that ecosystem already become something different?” And when you put wooly mammoths back are you
gonna end up having detrimental impacts on things that are living there now. [TRACE] there are other animals that we might
bring back first. Like the humble passenger pigeon. We hunted it to extinction, and changed the
forests of North America. Oak trees need the pigeon for regeneration
as well as controlling the underbrush, which is a major fire hazard. If we de-extinct them we fill a hole in the
ecosystem — a hole that we put there. [JACK DUMBACHER] There’s a portfolio of extinct
animals that you could potentially bring back. The challenge is trying to figure out which
of those is going to have the biggest positive impacts, and then working on those first. [TRACE] So, in less than ten years we could
de-extinct the passenger pigeon, maybe someday we’ll have Wooly mammoths roaming the tundra
or even see dodo birds waddling around. How close are we to de-extinction? REALLY REALLY close. But just because we can, doesn’t mean we
should… You can Keep How Close Are We from going extinct
too, by subscribing! Just tap the Seeker symbol. Extinction doesn’t have to be forever, but
that doesn’t mean we should encourage it. Did you know the Border Wall between Mexico
and the U.S. is causing extinction too? Yeah. Find out more here. And thanks a lot for watching Seeker.

53 Comments

  1. Yen the smiling dinosaur November 22, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    I really hope we can bring back every animal extinct because of human. I feel like we owed them

  2. Daniel A November 23, 2019 at 2:59 am

    BRING ME A FLOOFY DODO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. bigshambala November 23, 2019 at 6:30 am

    Bla bla bla, graphics, bla bla bla. Confidence masking incompetence. 'We this', 'we that', who the hell is "we". Boring…answer the question in the title first, then make your argument – you got it sdrawkcab. Ah, the border wall delusion – thats the litmus test I was waiting for – ya'll got TDS. That explains the smarmy video.

  4. flippy gaming yt November 23, 2019 at 6:45 am

    I want to resurrect Sid from ice age

  5. Matthew Timothy Miguel November 23, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Aren't they extinct for a reason??

  6. ינאי גולדנברג November 23, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    so instead of jerussic park just build ice age park. what can go wrong?

  7. Cristian Daniel Popescu November 23, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Hunting mammoths!?The science is unfortunately under Deliriously Guy's leadership.
    People itself struggled to survey.They were a few guys in all Eurasia..Finding intact frozen animals shows a dramatic instant freezing process. Even the carnivorous and natural decomposition couldn't no more take place.Till today when some fossil are eaten by wild. So ,the next summertime came never again!Same ,this guys believe that all rhinoceroses, mammoth, lions,etc lived in tundra!Hello!!!!
    Ask a peasant how many hay need a cow in year!
    How many biomass produce one ha land in tundra in one year?Almost nothing comparing to temperate climate.Such a delusion science! Worse than in dark age( by the way it was not so " dark")

  8. Jackson Bowser November 23, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    I think we should have animals back that we made go extinct from 1600 to present day

  9. Sandra Jones November 23, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Too late we ALREADY have TRUMP. 2O2O .GJONES

  10. Michael De Angelo November 24, 2019 at 6:52 am

    "Just because we can. Doesn't mean we should."

    "Just because we can… Doesn't mean we should."

    "Just because we can…….. Doesn't mean we should."

    … We get it, you don't care about peoples dreams coming true.

  11. Tom Smith November 24, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Its already been done…. But the offspring turned out ill and short lived.

    Mankind will never perfect it it will do as it always has done create a lot more suffering.

    I can't wait till mankind has killed its self which it will because that is our genetic destiny thats pre programmed.

  12. fabulous November 25, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    Humans can’t exterminate

  13. LET'S TALK November 26, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    We didn't hunt ice age mega fauna to extinction. Time to stop spreading that bull crap theory already. No hunter/gatherer would hunt their food to extinction, and they certainly wouldn't start with the biggest, most dangerous ones. Also, the human population was too low to do this. They were killed off by sudden climate change and super floods caused by meteor impacts at the end of the last ice age.

  14. The CCC November 26, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    Impossible, when something is dead, it stays dead.

  15. I AM KAI November 27, 2019 at 3:01 am

    im on board for dodo birds and passenger pigeon

  16. Erwin mainusch November 27, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    Bring the dodo back

  17. Braylon Monninger November 27, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    Is this pokemon

  18. Braylon Monninger November 27, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    Is this jarasic park

  19. Mohit Sawant November 28, 2019 at 6:26 am

    2017: How close are we to resuscitating extinct species
    2019 : Any Jurassic Park movie: Am I a joke to you ?

  20. Toastysaur 27 November 28, 2019 at 9:18 am

    why not just clone endangered species? that seemes way easier

  21. Anthony Appleyard November 28, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    Best also to try to reconstruct mammoth mitochondrial DNA.

  22. Michael Wright November 29, 2019 at 4:57 am

    We should bring back dodo birds so they can be our pets.

  23. Ninjamaster77 November 29, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Just do it already.

  24. Ninjamaster77 November 29, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Bring the mammoth back and don't allow ANYONE to hunt it.Not even indigenous people.They hunted it to extinction,so protect it.

  25. Ace Planets November 30, 2019 at 1:28 am

    what if you can clone humans

  26. adads ds November 30, 2019 at 1:29 am

    ”We cant make jurassic park!” -Click’s of the video

  27. Jayy II November 30, 2019 at 2:04 am

    They shouldn't be trying to do this. They are extinct for a reason bringing them back will mess up something

  28. Henry Jurkiewicz November 30, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    What a load of utter codswallap. How close , really ? Never.

  29. Samer Houssein November 30, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c-EWSmOgDc

  30. Taviri N December 1, 2019 at 1:07 am

    4:31 It's gene not genome. A genome is all the DNA put together.

  31. scalping forever December 1, 2019 at 1:20 am

    What about sabertooth?

  32. Clint Whatley December 1, 2019 at 4:16 am

    Pandora Box is Opened. No Stopping Now

  33. Clint Whatley December 1, 2019 at 4:18 am

    Border wall is causing extinction too ? Yea !!! Illegal Immigrants and Drug Traffickers….lol

  34. Colton Moran December 1, 2019 at 5:07 am

    Who said anything about releasing them into the wild?

  35. Christian December 2, 2019 at 2:04 am

    Can we revive a smilodon?

  36. Chester Lloyd Doliente December 2, 2019 at 2:57 am

    Hmmm… they kinda missed the point in their motivation aboat de-extinction. It not about do we bring it back or how it can change the ecosystem, but the ability of we can and what are the implications about it.

    For example, if this technology will be fully utilized, we can relieve the effort of life wildness preservation as we know that we can hust bring endangered animals and with that save a lot of money. With the current advancement of ai and dna mapping, it is possible that we can simulate data in the computer on what will happened in ecosystem if we introduce a certain animal.

  37. Barry Phipps December 2, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Go back to school your clueless

  38. i hate sm ppl December 2, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    Just put em in zoos

  39. pastel bleu December 2, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    But then u realize:
    How the hell are they gonna revive a wooly mammoth thats extinct when we can't even revive our own species, humans? We have hella DNA or whatever the hell they're talking about in this video but we can't.

  40. RichyRichRoch 123 December 3, 2019 at 1:09 am

    Yes bring the mammoth back

  41. Darkstar317 December 4, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Humans need to get their life’s in order before they bring back animals

  42. Charizard fan185 December 4, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    if scientists are finally able to bring back animals from Extinction they should put as a illegal to kill the animals that went extinct in the past

  43. Rusty Ankles December 4, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    I would love to witness on the news
    Florida man with dodo army taking over more than half the U.S

  44. Raymond Olivas December 5, 2019 at 2:53 am

    Bring back tazzie, we caused their extinction due to plain ignorance we owe it to them to dextinct them. Mammoths had their chance.

  45. Mr JP December 5, 2019 at 5:15 am

    Just because we can means we probably will

  46. Barn Storming December 5, 2019 at 10:30 am

    doesnt mean we can doesnt mean we should……..i dont agree. animals will adapt. its in their nature. our ecosystems can sustain them. we are destroying the eco systems put in place. how bout we fix the damage weve already caused. who gives a shit what you think. you think your doing damage. when the damage has already been done.

  47. Barn Storming December 5, 2019 at 10:32 am

    bring em back and let nature fix what weve destroyed

  48. Der Willhelm December 5, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Yeah yuihhh Jurassic Park/World IRL!

  49. Der Willhelm December 5, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Also some of the More Recent Studies have Shown that reviving the Dinosaurs would be quite possible although it would take a lot of work we would pretty much have to create a whole new Species with Komodo Dragons as the Base for it we’d have to mix loads of DNA of different DNA together and find out what’s compatible and what isn’t in other words we’d be creating a whole new Species of Dinosaurs not bringing the old ones back

  50. Itsmello chan December 6, 2019 at 11:39 am

    Ressurect humanity

  51. marky Dragneel December 6, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Yes but even they could bring those extinct animals back to life i think they could have only a small chance to survive and it's because of climate change

  52. MumbleRapIs Gay December 6, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    so we can bring back my grandma to life

  53. Bornlyrical nutz December 9, 2019 at 1:35 am

    We have elephants so just be gratefull. It's only a bit of hair and longer tusk we are are missing.

  54. OlytazZay L2 December 9, 2019 at 5:08 am

    If one day scientists bring back dinosaurs just now they where so excited they thought they would but they didn’t think if they should

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