Should extinction be forever

How to Cite

Saulsberry, A. (2015). Should extinction be forever. Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Journal, 10.


Typically the extinction of a species is thought of as an ultimate end by conservation biologists. However, now with the advent of inter-species somatic cell nuclear transfer extinct species can be re-created using a tissue sample from the extinct species and oocytes from a related species. This technology has a long way to go before stable populations of previously extinct species can be created, but we must consider the ethics of re-creating extinct species and the potential consequences of de-extinction, whether positive or negative. Re-creating extinct species could potentially allow for justice for these wronged species and new cultural, research, and ecological value. However, some argue this process is too unnatural or hubristic, and it could also detract from conserving extant species and have negative effects on human societies and cultures or ecosystems. Re-creating extinct species may ultimately be an inevitable technological advancement, but we must consider all these issues to make sure de-extinction is pursued in such a way to have net positive effects.