Real "Jurassic Park" Technology: Contemporary Cloning of Extinct and Endangered Animals
A good portion of what is called “Jurassic Park” technology remains science fiction. Yet in recent years—with attempts, for example, to clone the extinct Bucardo goat and the Tasmanian wolf, as well as plans to clone the Panda and other endangered animals—Jurassic Park technology is also becoming a reality. In this paper, I explore three facets of Jurassic Park cloning technology: cloning long-extinct animals, cloning recently extinct animals, and cloning endangered animals. I examine actual scientific cases under discussion or experimentally underway. For each of these categories, I investigate the technical issues, habitat questions, and diverse ethical quandaries and dimensions raised. Placing Jurassic Park technology in the context of conservation science, I address the following question: is the application of cloning a genuine conservation tool in facing species extinctions, or is it a hyped-up “technological fix” that does not address the problem? I argue that the answer does not lie on either of these contrasting poles.
Keywords: life-science technology, cloning, Jurassic Park technology, conservation science, extinct and endangered species
Dr. Eileen Crist
Professor, Department of Science and Technology in Society, Virginia Tech
I have published numerous papers in refereed journals; titles are available on my web site, in the Department of Science and Technology in Society at Virginia Tech. Among my current interests is the use of cloning as a conservation-science tool.