Flora and Fauna | Environment | Science

Are We Ready To Hack The Animal Kingdom?

NPR | Dec. 26, 2013 10:42 a.m.

Contributed By:

NPR/TED Staff

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Hackers.

About Stewart Brand’s TEDTalk

Mankind has driven species after species extinct. Now Stewart Brand says, we have the technology to bring back the species that we wiped out. So should we? Which ones? He asks a big question whose answer is closer than you may think.

About Stewart Brand

The revival of extinct species is becoming a possibility and Stewart Brand plans to not only bring species back but restore them to the wild. Brand is already a legend in the tech industry for things he’s created: the Whole Earth Catalog, The WELL, the Long Now Foundation, and the notion that “information wants to be free.”

Now Brand, a lifelong environmentalist, wants to re-create — or “de-extinct” — a few animals that have disappeared from the planet. Resurrecting the woolly mammoth using ancient DNA may sound like mad science.

But Brand’s Revive and Restore project has an entirely rational goal: to learn what causes extinctions so we can protect currently endangered species, preserve genetic and biological diversity, repair depleted ecosystems, and essentially “undo harm that humans have caused in the past.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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