Sources, Notes, and Further Reading
Since a large number of my sources are available only on the internet or are much easier to find online than anywhere else all of the references, with links, are listed here. Much of what I list here is further reading for anyone with an interest in finding out more about the various projects and ideas presented in the book.
Please let me know if anything doesn’t work and I’ll try to fix it. Send an email to email@example.com
Introduction: A Whole New World
- The myth of Prometheus and fire as the source of civilisation is the subject of many ancient texts. An example is Prometheus Bound, which dates back to 400 BC and is traditionally attributed to Aeschylus. Plato also mentions the myth.
- In 1818, Mary Shelley published Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus anonymously in London. Her name did not appear on the novel until the second edition, which came out in France in 1823.
- The first experiments showing that electricity could make corpses twitch were conducted by Luigi Galvani in 1780. An article about these experiments, with contemporary illustrations of the tests, is ‘Animal Electricity, circa 1781’ (September 2011) The Scientist, https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/31078/title/Animal-Electricity–circa-1781/
- A golem is a creature from Jewish folklore. They are moulded by people, generally out of clay, and are endowed with life of a kind when a sacred word is placed inside their heads. The best-known story tells of a 16th-century rabbi who creates a golem that becomes a servant in the rabbi’s house. Everything goes well for a while, but in the end the golem runs amok in the town. The rabbi removes the magic word and swears never again to imitate God by creating life.
- The film Jurassic Park is based on the book of the same name by Michael Crichton, published in 1990. It was not the first book about ‘resurrected dinosaurs running amok’; John Brosnan’s Carnosaur came out in 1984. That was also made into a film, shown for the first time in 1993.
- The Lazarus Project, whose goal is to resurrect the extinct gastric-brooding frog, also known as the platypus frog (genus: Rheobatrachus), is based at the University of New South Wales. The project is led by Michael Archer. More on this project can be found in ‘The Lazarus Project: scientists’ quest for de-extinction’ (April 2015) The Sydney Morning Herald, http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/the-lazarus-project-scientists-quest-for-deextinction-20150417-1mng6g.html
- Michael Archer has given a TEDx talk on the Lazarus Project: https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_archer_how_we_ll_resurrect_the_gastric_brooding_frog_the_tasmanian_tiger
- Eugene Schieffelin was a very intriguing character in many ways and the subject of many interesting articles. An example is: ‘The Shakespeare Fanatic Who Introduced All of the Bard’s Birds to America’ (May 2014) Pacific Standard, https://psmag.com/environment/shakespeare-fanatic-introduced-bards-birds-america-82279
Another is: ‘100 Years of the Starling’ (September 1990) The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/1990/09/01/opinion/100-years-of-the-starling.html
Chapter 1: Can I See Sarah Palin’s House from Here?
- The history of Chersky and the whole of eastern Siberia is fascinating, as is the town’s development after the fall of the Soviet Union. Here is an Associated Press news article about the time after the collapse of the USSR: ‘Isolated Siberian Town Shrivels after Soviet Era’ (2011) http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/01/08/isolated-siberian-town-shrivels-soviet-era.html
- The research station’s homepage is: http://terrychapin.org/station.html
- Many books have been written about mammoths, their evolution and ecology, and early humans’ relationship with them. A good overview is given by Lister & Bahn: Mammoths: giants of the Ice Age (2007) Frances Lincoln.
- Neanderthals used mammoth bones to build houses. Research into the subject is summarised in a news article: ‘Neanderthal Home Made of Mammoth Bones Discovered in Ukraine’ (December 2011) Quaternary International, vol. 247, pp. 1–362, https://phys.org/news/2011-12-neanderthal-home-mammoth-bones-ukraine.html
- The scientific article in which Nikita and Sergey Zimov try to calculate how many animals lived on the mammoth steppe and compare the result with the population of Africa: ‘Mammoth Steppe: a high-productivity phenomenon’ (December 2012) Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 57, pp. 26–45, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379112003939
- Calculations of when the first humans came to Siberia are based on the carbon 14 dating method: ‘The Yana RHS Site: humans in the Arctic before the last glacial maximum’ (2004) Science, http://science.sciencemag.org/content/303/5654/52
- New scientific articles about what happened to the mammoths appear regularly. An example is: ‘Abrupt Warming Events Drove Late Pleistocene Holarctic Megafaunal Turnover’ (July 2015) Science, http://science.sciencemag.org/content/349/6248/602
- Beth Shapiro writes about the extinction of the mammoth in the following scientific article: ‘Pattern of Extinction of the Woolly Mammoth in Beringia’ (June 2012) Nature Communications, vol. 3, https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms1881
‘Remaining continental mammoths, now concentrated in the north, disappeared in the early Holocene with development of extensive peatlands, wet tundra, birch shrubland and coniferous forest. Long sympatry in Siberia suggests that humans may be best seen as a synergistic cofactor in that extirpation. The extinction of island populations occurred at ~4 ka. Mammoth extinction was not due to a single cause, but followed a long trajectory in concert with changes in climate, habitat and human presence.’
See also: ‘Life and Extinction of Megafauna in the Ice-Age Arctic’ (September 2015) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), vol. 112, http://www.pnas.org/content/112/46/14301.full
- Questions about whether mammoths lived at the same time as the pyramids were being built proliferate on the internet, and I have seen many different answers. This is mine. The last mammoths died out about 4,000 years ago, and the pyramids at Giza were completed by around 2,560 BC (just over 4,500 years ago). By that time, there were no longer any mammoths living on the mainland, only on remote islands. See: ‘Radiocarbon Dating Evidence for Mammoths on Wrangel Island, Arctic Ocean’ (1995) Radiocarbon, vol. 37, pp. 1–6, https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/viewFile/1640/1644
- The trade in mammoth tusks is both open and covert. The estimate of 55 tonnes comes from a news article in National Geographic, which is well worth reading and beautifully illustrated: ‘Of Mammoths and Men’ (April 2013), http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/04/125-mammoth-tusks/larmer-text
‘Nearly 90 percent of all mammoth tusks hauled out of Siberia — estimated at more than 60 tons a year, though the actual figure may be higher — end up in China, where legions of the newly rich are entranced by ivory.’
- Beth Shapiro has written a book about the possibility of resurrecting a mammoth, in which she describes exactly how scientists go about piecing together ancient DNA: How to Clone a Mammoth: the science of de-extinction (2015) Princeton University Press.
- Sequencing the mammoth genome at the Swedish Museum of Natural History: ‘Complete Genomes Reveal Signatures of Demographic and Genetic Declines in the Woolly Mammoth’ (May 2015) Current Biology, vol. 25, pp. 1395–1400.
Chapter 2: Who Wants to Build a Mammoth?
- The Permafrost Kingdom’s website is not very good. However, the Yakutia region’s tourism site contains a photo gallery with pictures of the frozen caves: http://www.yakutiatravel.com/photo-galery/permafrost-kingdom
- The scientific article describing the mammoth head in Yakutsk and how it was found is: ‘The Yukagir Mammoth: brief history, 14c dates, individual age, gender, size, physical and environmental conditions, and storage’ (2006) Scientific Annals, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, vol. 98, pp. 299–314, http://geolib.geo.auth.gr/index.php/sasg/article/view/7524/7281
- Here are three articles about the three mammoth calves, including pictures of them:
Lyuba: ‘Ice Baby’ (May 2009) National Geographic, http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/05/mammoths/mueller-text
Zhenya: ‘“Zhenya” Mammoth Find in North Russia, Biggest in 100 Years, Made By 11-Year-Old Evgeny Salinder’ (October 2012) Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/04/zhenya-mammoth-find-russia_n_1940791.html
Dima: ‘Woolly Mammoth: secrets from the ice’ (April 2012) BBC, http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/17525074
- Dolly, the cloned sheep, was born on 5 July 1996. The researchers in charge of the experiment were Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell, from the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh. The scientific article on the experiment is: ‘Viable Offspring Derived from Foetal and Adult Mammalian Cells’ (February 1997) Nature, vol. 385, pp. 810–13, https://www.nature.com/articles/385810a0
- Nature on the scandal surrounding Hwang Woo-suk: http://www.nature.com/news/specials/woo-suk-hwang-revisited-1.14521
- An example of criticism of attempts to find living cells: ‘Cloning a Woolly Mammoth: good science or vanity project?’ (14 March 2012) Slate, http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/03/14/cloning_a_woolly_mammoth_hwang_woo_suk_and_other_scientists_attempt_to_revive_exinct_species_.html
- Akira Iritani’s claim that he would clone a mammoth by 2016 may be found here: ‘The first mammoth cloning experiment is officially underway’ (January 2011) Gizmodo, https://io9.gizmodo.com/5735293/the-first-mammoth-cloning-experiment-is-officially-underway
See also: ‘Mammoth “Could Be Reborn in Four Years”’ (January 2011) The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/8257223/Mammoth-could-be-reborn-in-four-years.html
- On the possibility of finding living cells, see also: ‘Will We Ever Clone a Mammoth?’ (June 2012) BBC, http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120601-will-we-ever-clone-a-mammoth
- See the homepage of George Church’s laboratory at: http://arep.med.harvard.edu/gmc/
- A great deal has been written about the CRISPR/Cas9 technique. Here is a good explanation of what it may mean for various species: ‘Welcome to the CRISPR Zoo’ (9 March 2016) Nature, https://www.nature.com/news/welcome-to-the-crispr-zoo-1.19537
- The Chinese study that was the first to show genetic engineering in human embryos: ‘CRISPR/Cas9-mediated Gene Editing in Human Tripronuclear Zygotes’ (May 2015) Protein & Cell, vol. 6, pp. 363–72, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13238-015-0153-5
- George Church has not yet published any scientific study proving success in splicing 14 mammoth genes into elephant DNA. However, he has talked about the experiment in a number of interviews, with me and other people. On the basis of his previous work, I choose to believe his claims. ‘Mammoth Genomes Provide Recipe for Creating Arctic Elephants’ (May 2015) Nature, http://www.nature.com/news/mammoth-genomes-provide-recipe-for-creating-arctic-elephants-1.17462
- There have been a number of studies into the various effects that mammoth genes could have, and experiments have been conducted with mammoth haemoglobin, which functions at low temperatures: ‘Substitutions in Woolly Mammoth Haemoglobin Confer Biochemical Properties Adaptive for Cold Tolerance’ (May 2010) Nature Genetics, vol. 42, pp. 536–40, http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v42/n6/full/ng.574.html
- ‘Nuclear Gene Indicates Coat-colour Polymorphism in Mammoths’ (July 2006) Science, vol. 313, p. 62, http:/science.sciencemag.org/content/313/5783/62
- ‘Elephantid Genomes Reveal the Molecular Bases of Woolly Mammoth Adaptations to the Arctic’ (July 2015) Cell Reports, vol. 12, pp. 217–28, http://www.cell.com/cell-reports/abstract/S2211-1247(15)00639-7
- Pluripotent stem cells were induced for the first time by Shinya Yamanaka in 2006, a breakthrough for which he was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in medicine: ‘Induction of Pluripotent Stem Cells from Mouse Embryonic and Adult Fibroblast Cultures by Defined Factors’ (August 2006) Cell, vol. 126, pp. 663–76, http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674(06)00976-7
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on Asian elephants: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/7140/0
Chapter 3: Zombie Spring
- On the virus that lay frozen in Siberian ice for 30,000 years (one of many studies of ancient viruses): ‘Thirty-thousand-year-old Distant Relative of Giant Icosahedral DNA Viruses with a Pandoravirus Morphology’ (March 2014) PNAS, vol. 111, pp. 4274–9, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3964051/
- On frozen plant cells, also 30,000 years old and found in Siberia: ‘Regeneration of Whole Fertile Plants from 30,000-y-old Fruit Tissue Buried in Siberian Permafrost’ (March 2012) PNAS, vol. 109, pp. 4008–13, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3309767/
- Water bears (tardigrades or tardigrada) can survive almost anything; they are incredibly fascinating organisms. For an overview, see the Encyclopedia of Life: http://eol.org/pages/3204/overview
- A portrait of Steward Brand that covers some of the many things he has done in the course of his life: ‘Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, the Book That Changed the World’ (May 2013) The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/may/05/stewart-brand-whole-earth-catalog
- The homepage of The Long Now Foundation: http://longnow.org
- Revive & Restore’s homepage includes information about the various scientific conferences the organisation has held and the projects it supports: http://reviverestore.org
- Stewart Brand himself has written and spoken a great deal about the need to revive extinct animals. His TED talk, ‘The Dawn of de-extinction. Are You Ready?’ (February 2013), is available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/stewart_brand_the_dawn_of_de_extinction_are_you_ready
See also: ‘Rethinking Extinction’ (April 2015) Aeon, https://aeon.co/essays/we-are-not-edging-up-to-a-mass-extinction
- A website displaying pictures of animals that have died out over the past 100 years: https://www.davidwolfe.com/animals-extinct-in-100-years/
- The IUCN’s list of threatened and extinct animal species: http://www.iucnredlist.org
- Although there’s no consensus on the number of species on earth, one of the most recent major studies suggests that there are approximately 8.7 million species, plus or minus 1.3 million: ‘How Many Species Are There on Earth and in the Ocean?’ (August 2011) PLOS Biology, http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1001127
- A good overview of the five major mass extinction events is: ‘Big Five Mass Extinction Events’ (October 2014) BBC, http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/extinction_events
- For its coverage of previous mass extinction events and a discussion of whether humans are responsible for a sixth one, I would recommend Elizabeth Kolbert’s book The Sixth Extinction: an unnatural history (2014), Henry Holt & Co.
- Estimate of the number of extinctions for which humanity is responsible: ‘Global Effects of Land Use on Local Terrestrial Biodiversity’ (April 2015) Nature, vol. 520, pp. 45–50, https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14324
- There are a few studies that suggest the amount of land given over to farming will dwindle in future. An example is: ‘Peak Farmland and the Prospect for Land Sparing’ (February 2013) Population and Development Review, vol. 38, pp. 221–42, https://phe.rockefeller.edu/docs/PDR.SUPP%20Final%20Paper.pdf
Another is: ‘The Effects of Agricultural Technological Progress on Deforestation: what do we really know?’ (June 2014) Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, vol. 36, pp. 211–37, https://academic.oup.com/aepp/article-abstract/36/2/211/8311
- Other studies warn that cultivable land will reach its limits, with disastrous consequences. An example is: ‘Soil Security: solving the global soil crisis’ (October 2013) Global Policy, vol. 4, pp. 434–41, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1758-5899.12096/abstract
- On the return of forests to Europe: ‘Returning Forests Analysed with the Forest Identity’ (September 2006) PNAS, vol. 103, pp. 17574–9, http://www.pnas.org/content/103/46/17574.full
A news article on the situation in the United States: ‘New England Sees a Return of Forests, Wildlife’ (August 2013) Boston Globe, https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/08/31/new-england-sees-return-forests-and-wildlife/lJRxacvGcHeQDmtZt09WvN/story.html
Chapter 4: A Winged Storm
- There are many books and articles about Martha and her life and death, such as: ‘The Passenger Pigeon’, https://www.si.edu/spotlight/passenger-pigeon
See also: ‘100 Years after Her Death, Martha, the Last Passenger Pigeon, Still Resonates’ (September 2014) Smithsonian Magazine, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/100-years-after-death-martha-last-passenger-pigeon-still-resonates-180952445/
- A great deal has also been written about passenger pigeons in general. Those interested may want to read Joel Greenberg’s A Feathered River Across the Sky (2014) Bloomsbury.
- Sixty million birds in Sweden: see Richard Ottvall et al., Fåglarna i Sverige: antal och förekomst (2012), Swedish Ornithological Association.
- Much has also been written about the dodo (Raphus cucullatus). An article touching on the fact that many European scientists believed the bird had never actually existed is: ‘Dead as a Dodo: the fortuitous rise to fame of an extinction icon’ (September 2008) Historical Biology, vol. 20, pp. 149–63, http://dodobooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/TurveyCheke-2008-Dead-as-a-dodo.pdf
- Georges Cuvier was an interesting scientist, who gave a public reading of his original work on mammoth fossils, Mémoires sur les espèces d’éléphants vivants et fossiles, in 1796. It was published in 1800.
- Ben Novak’s project is mentioned on this website: https://pgl.soe.ucsc.edu
- Ben’s TEDx talk is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUoSjgZCXhe
- The type of cells that Ben seeks to modify, known as primordial germ cells, have been much studied in birds. One of the most recent breakthroughs in this field was made in the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, the same research institution that cloned Dolly the sheep. See: ‘Cryptopreservation of Specialised Chicken Lines Using Cultured Primordial Germ Cells’ (August 2016) Poultry Science, vol. 95, pp. 1905–11, https://academic.oup.com/ps/article/95/8/1905/2563774
- The first study of gene editing in this type of cells was: ‘Germline Gene Editing in Chickens by Efficient CRISPR-mediated Homologous Recombination in Primordial Germ Cells’ (April 2016) PLOS One, http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154303
- The first genetically modified plant, a tobacco plant resistant to antibiotics, is described in: ‘Expression of Bacterial Genes in Plant Cells’ (August 1983) PNAS, vol. 80, pp. 4803–7, http://www.pnas.org/content/80/15/4803.full.pdf
- Genetically modified bacteria are used to produce medicines such as insulin: ‘Protein Therapeutics: a summary and pharmacological classification’ (January 2008) Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, vol. 7, pp. 21–39, https://www.nature.com/articles/nrd2399; ‘Therapeutic Insulins and Their Large-scale Manufacture’ (December 2004) Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol. 67, pp. 151–9, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00253-004-1809-x
- On insects that develop resistance to Bt crops: ‘Insect Resistance to Bt Crops: lessons from the first billion acres’ (June 2013) Nature Biotechnology, vol. 31, pp. 510–23, https://www.nature.com/articles/nbt.2597
- Study summarising the information available on the impact on human health of eating GM crops: ‘Published GMO Studies Find No Evidence of Harm when Corrected for Multiple Comparisons’ (January 2016) Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, vol. 37, pp. 213–17, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.3109/07388551.2015.1130684
- On the expiry of patents on various GM crops: ‘As Patents Expire Farmers Plant Generic GMOs’ (July 2015) MIT Technology Review, https://www.technologyreview.com/s/539746/as-patents-expire-farmers-plant-generic-gmos/
- The first scientific article on golden rice was published in 2000: ‘Engineering the Provitamin A (β-carotene) Biosynthetic Pathway into (Carotenoid-Free) Rice Endosperm’ (January 2000) Science, vol. 287, pp. 303–5, http://science.sciencemag.org/content/287/5451/303
Chapter 5: New Kid on the Block
- The scientific article on the cloning of Celia: ‘First Birth of an Animal from an Extinct Subspecies (Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica) by Cloning’ (April 2009) Theriogenology, vol. 71, pp. 1026–34, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19167744
- Alberto’s TEDx talk on the bucardo and the experiments conducted by his team: ‘The First De-extinction’ (April 2013), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eMqEQw9Fbs
- Dolly the sheep was named after Dolly Parton.
- Several articles have been published that are critical of the attempts to resurrect the bucardo, such as: ‘The Arguments against Cloning the Pyrenean Wild Goat’ (November 2014) Conservation Biology, vol. 28, pp. 1445–6, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12396/abstract
Chapter 6: The Rhino That Came in from the Cold
- The ‘white’ part of the name ‘Northern white rhinoceros’ (Ceratotherium simum) is problematic. The two subspecies of the white rhinoceros are known as the northern white rhino and the southern white rhino respectively. The most widely accepted explanation for the animal’s English name is that ‘white’ reflects a misinterpretation by the British of its description in Afrikaans, wyd muil, which actually refers to its wide mouth or blunt muzzle. If you want to know more about the rhinoceros’s name, I recommend Kees Rookmaaker’s ‘Why the Name of the White Rhinoceros Is Not Appropriate’ (2003) Pachyderm, vol. 34, pp. 88–93, http://www.rhinoresourcecenter.com/pdf_files/117/1175858144.pdf
- On poaching and the high prices for rhinoceros horn: ‘Which is Most Valuable: Gold, Cocaine, Or Rhino Horn?’ (May 2015) I Fucking Love Science, http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/which-most-valuable-gold-cocaine-or-rhino-horn/
- The homepage of the San Diego Frozen Zoo: http://institute.sandiegozoo.org/resources/frozen-zoo%C2%AE
- Oliver Ryder’s text on resurrecting extinct species, ‘Designing the Destiny of Biological Diversity’ (2013) is available at: https://www.humansandnature.org/conservation-extinction-oliver-ryder
- For Oliver Ryder’s TEDx talk, ‘Genetic Rescue and Biodiversity Banking’ (April 2013), see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVzhs1WjzGg
- On stem cells, see the references for Chapter 2.
- Jeanne Loring’s laboratory, the Centre for Regenerative Medicine, has its homepage at: http://www.scripps.edu/loring/
- Here is the scientific article on how the team succeeded in generating stem cells from the white rhino: ‘Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Mammalian Endangered Species’ (2015) Cell Programming, vol. 1330, pp. 101–9, https://link.springer.com/protocol/10.1007/978-1-4939-2848-4_10
- The Chinese study that claims success in generating early mouse sperm is: ‘Complete Meiosis from Embryonic Stem Cell-derived Germ Cells In Vitro’ (March 2016) Cell Stem Cell, vol. 18, pp. 330–40, http://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/abstract/S1934-5909(16)00018-7
For a critique of the study, see: ‘Researchers Claim to Have Made Artificial Mouse Sperm in a Dish’ (2016) Nature, http://www.nature.com/news/researchers-claim-to-have-made-artificial-mouse-sperm-in-a-dish-1.19453
- Experiments in which scientists succeeded in inseminating an endangered species of animal with sperm that had been frozen for 20 years are documented in: ‘Recovery of Gene Diversity Using Long-term Cryopreserved Spermatozoa and Artificial Insemination in the Endangered Black-footed Ferret’ (August 2015), Animal Conservation, vol. 9, pp. 102–11, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acv.12229/abstract
- Summary of the possibility of generating human ova and sperm from stem cells: ‘Human Primordial Germ Cells in a Dish’ (January 2015) Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, vol. 16, https://www.nature.com/articles/nrm3945
- The most recent scientific article by Jeanne Loring and Oliver Ryder that summarises their plans for the white rhino in the future can be found at: ‘Rewinding the Process of Mammalian Extinction’ (May 2016) Zoo Biology, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/zoo.21284/abstract
- The company that’s planning to sell genetically modified pigs and koi carp is called BGI. ‘Gene-edited “Micropigs” to Be Sold as Pets at Chinese Institute’ (September 2015) Nature, http://www.nature.com/news/gene-edited-micropigs-to-be-sold-as-pets-at-chinese-institute-1.18448
- Summary of CRISPR for the modification of pets: ‘Welcome to the CRISPR Zoo’, https://www.nature.com/news/welcome-to-the-crispr-zoo-1.19537
Chapter 7: ‘It’s Not Quite That Simple’
- Phil Seddon’s homepage is at: http://www.otago.ac.nz/zoology/staff/otago008934
- Phil Seddon’s scientific article on the selection of species for revival: ‘Reintroducing Resurrected Species: selecting de-extinction candidates’ (March 2014) Trends in Ecology & Evolution, vol. 29, pp. 140–7, http://www.cell.com/trends/ecology-evolution/fulltext/S0169-5347%2814%2900021-4
- ‘Genetic Rescue to the Rescue’ (November 2014) Trends in Ecology & Evolution, vol. 30, pp. 42–49, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268821953_Genetic_rescue_to_the_rescue
- On giant tortoises in the Indian Ocean: ‘Assessing the Potential to Restore Historic Grazing Ecosystems with Tortoise Ecological Replacements’ (June 2013) Conservation Biology, vol. 27, pp. 690–700, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12087/abstract
- Interview in Wired with Maura O’Connor: ‘Biologists Could Soon Resurrect Extinct Species. But Should They?’ (September 2015) Wired, https://www.wired.com/2015/11/biologists-could-soon-resurrect-extinct-species-but-should-they/
- Maura O’Connor’s book is entitled Resurrection Science: conservation, de-extinction, and the precarious future of wild things (2015) St Martin’s Press.
- Interesting report on cat experiments in New Orleans: ‘Where Cats Glow Green: weird feline science in New Orleans’ (November 2013) The Verge, https://www.theverge.com/2013/11/6/4841714/where-cats-glow-green-weird-feline-science-acres-in-new-orleans
- A scientific article on the cloned wildcat: ‘Birth of African Wildcat Cloned Kittens Born from Domestic Cats’ (October 2004) Cloning Stem Cells, vol. 6, pp. 247–58, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15671671
- There have been a number of attempts to clone endangered species of animals.
The banteng: ‘Collaborative Effort Yields Endangered Species Clone’ (April 2003) Advanced Cell Technology, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/collaborative-effort-yields-endangered-species-clone-70813392.html
The gaur: ‘Cloning of an Endangered Species (Bos gaurus) Using Interspecies Nuclear Transfer’ (2000) Cloning, vol. 2, pp. 79–90, http://media.longnow.org/files/2/REVIVE/Cloning%20of%20an%20Endangered%20Species.pdf
The mouflon: ‘Genetic Rescue of an Endangered Mammal by Cross-species Nuclear Transfer Using Post-mortem Somatic Cells’ (October 2001) Nature Biotechnology, vol. 19, pp. 962–4, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11581663
- For a summary of the state of the art of interspecies animal cloning, see: ‘Interspecies Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer: advancements and problems’ (October 2013), Cell Reprogramming, vol. 15, pp. 374–84, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24033141
- A good popular science article on whether cloning can help save endangered animals is: ‘Will Cloning Ever Save Endangered Animals?’ (March 2013) Scientific American, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/cloning-endangered-animals/
Chapter 8: God’s Toolkit
- The homepage for coral spawning in Australia is: https://www.aims.gov.au/seasim-coral-spawning-activities
- Madeleine van Oppen’s homepage: http://data.aims.gov.au/staffcv/jsf/external/view.xhtml;jsessionid=447C951DF26A2B6D5ACA6FA8444FFE5C?partyId=100000442
- Layla and leukaemia: ‘Leukaemia Success Heralds Wave of Gene-editing Therapies’ (November 2015) Nature News, http://www.nature.com/news/leukaemia-success-heralds-wave-ofgen-editing-therapies-1.18737
- Summary of possible ways in which gene editing could be used for conservation purposes: Thomas et al.: ‘Gene tweaking for conservation’ (September 2013) Nature, vol. 501, pp. 485–486, http://www.nature.com/news/ecology-gene-tweaking-for-conservation-1.1379002. Summary of the conference of geneticists and conservation biologists organised by the Long Now (April 2015): Case studies, http://reviverestore.org/case-studies/
- Report on gene drives: ‘Nu kan vi styra över domedagsgenen’ (November 2015) Forskning & Framsteg, http://fof.se/tidning/2015/10/artikel/nu-kan-vi-styra-over-domedagsgenen
- Attempts to provide protection against gene drives that have been disseminated by mistake: ‘Safeguarding CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Drives in Yeast’ (November 2015) Nature Biotechology, vol. 33, pp. 1250–5, https://www.nature.com/articles/nbt.3412
- An interesting article about the ways in which synthetic biology can be used to solve ecological problems, and the risks that that entails: ‘Synthetic Biology and Conservation of Nature: wicked problems and wicked solutions’ (April 2013) PLOS Biology, http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1001530
Chapter 9: The Growing Dead
- The homepage of the American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project is: http://www.esf.edu/chestnut/
- William Powell’s homepage is: http://www.esf.edu/EFB/powell/
- William’s TEDx talk is: ‘Reviving the American Forest with the American Chestnut’ (April 2013), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYHQDLCmgyg
- An article by William Powell about the chestnut is: ‘The American Chestnut’s Genetic Rebirth’ (March 2014), Scientific American, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-american-chestnut-genetic-rebirth/
- A scientific article about the genetically modified chestnuts: ‘Improving Rooting and Shoot Tip Survival of Micropropagated Transgenic American Chestnut Shoots’ (February 2016) HortScience, vol. 51, pp. 171–6, http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/51/2/171.short
- A report on re-establishing an entire forest: ‘Resurrecting a Forest’ (November 2013) The Loom, http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/03/11/resurrecting-a-forest/
- An article by Johanna Witzell about using non-harmful fungi as a means of protection against plant diseases: ‘Ecological Aspects of Endophyte-based Biocontrol of Forest Diseases’ (October 2013) Advances in Endophytic Research, pp. 321–333, https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-81-322-1575-2_17
- A scientific article about genetic protection against ash dieback: ‘Genetic Resistance to Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus Limits Fungal Growth and Symptom Occurrence in Fraxinus excelsior’ (July 2011) Forest Pathology, vol. 42, pp. 69–74, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1439-0329.2011.00725.x/abstract
- The disease now threatening beeches is known as Phytophthora. For a summary of its impact on European forests, read: ‘Recent Developments in Phytophthora Diseases of Trees and Natural Ecosystems in Europe’ (2006) Progress in Research on Phytophthora Diseases of Forest Trees, https://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/Phytophthora_Diseases_Chapter01.pdf/$FILE/Phytophthora_Diseases_Chapter01.pdf
Chapter 10: If It Looks Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck, Is It an Aurochs?
- The story about how Hermann Göring personally shot his Heck cattle comes from the Dutch researcher Clemens Driessen, who has studied the Heck brothers. He’s the author of ‘Back-breeding the Aurochs: the Heck brothers, National Socialism, and imagined geographies for nonhuman Lebensraum’, a chapter in Giaccaria & Minca: Hitler’s Geographies (2016) University of Chicago Press.
- More about the history of the aurochs in Poland can be found in: ‘History of the Aurochs (Bos taurus primigenius) in Poland’ (April 1995) Animal Genetic Resources, vol. 16, pp. 5–12, https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/animal-genetic-resources-resources-genetiques-animales-recursos-geneticos-animales/article/history-of-the-aurochs-bos-taurus-primigenius-in-poland/73E5642DC0324EC98B52B34C57F9AE92
- An article about the aurochs horn in the Swedish Royal Armoury has appeared in the magazine for friends of the Royal Armoury: ‘Uroxehornet, ett eftertraktat Livsrustkammarföremål’ (June 2011) Livsrustkammarens Vänner Medlemsblad, http://livrustkammaren.se/sites/livrustkammaren.se/files/medlemsblad203620juni2020111.pdf
- A summary of the Heck brothers’ experiment, including quotations from both brothers about how successful they considered it to have been, may be found in: ‘History, Morphology, and Ecology of the Aurochs (Bos primigenius)’ (2002), http://members.chello.nl/~t.vanvuure/oeros/uk/lutra.pdf
- The homepage of the True Nature Foundation is at: https://truenaturefoundation.org
- Henri Kerkdijk-Otten’s TEDx talk about the project, ‘Restoring Europe’s Wildlife with Aurochs and Others’ (April 2013), can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Obo9odbGOYU
- An article on the cattle at Chillingham Castle: ‘A Viable Herd of Genetically Uniform Cattle’ (January 2001), Nature, vol. 409, https://www.nature.com/articles/35053160
- An article about the quagga: ‘The Quagga and Science: what does the future hold for this extinct zebra?’ (2013), Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, vol. 56, http://muse.jhu.edu/article/509324
Chapter 11: A Wilder Europe
- Uffe Gjøl Sørensen’s view of the project at Lille Vildmose: ‘Vildokserne ved Lille Vildmose 2003–2010. Status rapport med anbefalinger til projektets forvaltning’ (2010) UG Sørensen Consult, http://naturstyrelsen.dk/media/nst/Attachments/Lille_Vildmose_anbefalinger_for_naturpleje1.pdf
- Report on rewilding: ‘Förvilda Europa’ (May 2012), Forskning & Framsteg, http://fof.se/tidning/2012/4/forvilda-europa
- Dissertation on rewilding of Sweden: Pettersson, ‘Återförvilda’ Sverige? En studie av rewilding som strategi för att bevara kulturlandskapet och gynna biologisk mångfald, thesis for bachelor degree in global studies, spring term, 2014, http://nordensark.se/media/1341/examensarbete-rewildinghannapettersson.pdf
- Impact of wild boar on forests: ‘Ekologiska och ekonomiska konsekvenser av vildsvinens (Sus scrofa) återetablering i Sverige’ (2013) Biology Education Centre, Uppsala University, http://files.webb.uu.se/uploader/271/BIOKand-13-025-Duck-Lovisa-Uppsats.pdf
- There are a number of reports on the European bison released in the Carpathian Mountains. The Guardian reported on the first ever release: ‘Return of the European Bison’ (May 2014) The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/21/-sp-european-bison-europe-romania-carpathian-mountains
A press release from Rewilding Europe when the gates to the enclosure were opened and the bison were able to take their first steps in freedom: ‘28 European Bison Now Roaming the Tarcu Mountains in the Southern Carpathians’ (June 2015), https://www.rewildingeurope.com/news/28-european-bison-now-roaming-the-tarcu-mountains-in-the-southern-carpathian/
A press release from Rewilding Europe about their Tauros aurochs grazing in Croatia: ‘Second Generation of Tauros Now Grazing in Lika Plains’ (June 2016), https://www.rewildingeurope.com/news/second-generation-of-tauros-now-grazing-in-lika-plains/
- An excellent report on rewilding and the Oostvaardersplassen by Elizabeth Kolbert: ‘Recall of the Wild’ (December 2012) The New Yorker, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/12/24/recall-of-the-wild
- A critical report about the problems with the Oostvaardersplassen: ‘Holländskt naturexperiment slutade i katastrof’ (September 2012) Svensk Jakt, https://svenskjakt.se/start/Nyheter/2012/09/hollandskt-naturexperiment-slutade-i-katastrof/
- Information from Yellowstone National Park about wolves and their impact: ‘Wolf Reintroduction Changes Ecosystem’ (June 2011), http://www.yellowstonepark.com/wolf-reintroduction-changes-ecosystem/
- Report on wolves in Denmark: ‘Research Project Reveals the Secrets of the Danish Wolf’ (June 2015) Copenhagen Post, http://cphpost.dk/news/research-project-reveals-the-secrets-of-the-danish-wolf.html
Chapter 12: ‘Most People Would Call This Totally Insane’
- Sergey Zimov’s article about the attempts to recreate the mammoth steppe: ‘Pleistocene Park: return of the mammoth’s ecosystem’ (May 2005) Science, vol. 308, pp. 796–8, http://www.pleistocenepark.ru/files/Zimov_PleistocenePark_Science.pdf
Chapter 13: A Chicken’s Inner Dinosaur
- The most ancient hereditary material ever analysed comes from a horse that lived 700,000 years ago: ‘World’s Oldest Genome Sequenced from 700,000-year-old Horse DNA’ (June 2013) National Geographic, https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/06/130626-ancient-dna-oldest-sequenced-horse-paleontology-science/
- Blood and collagen found in a dinosaur fossil: ‘75-million-year-old Dinosaur Blood and Collagen Discovered in Fossil Fragments’ (June 2015) The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jun/09/75-million-year-old-dinosaur-blood-and-collagen-discovered-in-fossil-fragments
- Jack Horner’s homepage: http://www.montana.edu/earthsciences/facstaff/horner.html
- Jack Horner’s TED talk, ‘Building a Dinosaur from a Chicken’ (March 2011), is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QVXdEOiCw8
- Arkhat Abzhanov’s homepage is at: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/a.abzhanov
- Arkhat Abzhanov’s scientific article about chickens that develop snouts: ‘A Molecular Mechanism for the Origin of a Key Evolutionary Innovation, the Bird Beak and Palate, Revealed by an Integrative Approach to Major Transitions in Vertebrate History’ (June 2015) Evolution, vol. 69, pp. 1665–77, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/evo.12684/abstract
Chapter 14: The Fine Line Between Utopia and Dystopia
- Ben Minteer’s text about the difficulties with resurrecting species is: ‘Is it Right to Reverse Extinction?’ (May 2014) Nature, vol. 509, http://www.nature.com/news/is-it-right-to-reverse-extinction-1.15212
- He has also written a longer piece on the same subject: ‘Extinct Species Should Stay Extinct’ (December 2014) Slate, http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/12/de_extinction_ethics_why_extinct_species_shouldn_t_be_brought_back.html
- Susan Clayton’s homepage is at: http://discover.wooster.edu/sclayton/
- A book about the possibility of resurrecting animal species with a focus on ethics: Fletcher, Mendel’s Ark: biotechnology and the future of extinction (2014) Springer.
- A book that summarises the ethical issues surrounding the resurrection of extinct species: Oksanen & Siipi (eds), The Ethics of Animal Re-creation and Modification: reviving, rewilding, restoring (February 2014) Palgrave.
- An article about the ethical issues around the recreation of various animals: ‘The Ethics of Reviving Long-Extinct Species’ (July 2013) Conservation Biology, vol. 28, pp. 354–60, http://hettingern.people.cofc.edu/150_Spring_2015/Sandler_Ethics_of_Reviving_Long_Extinct_Species.pdf
- Report on the difficulties with discussing the potential and problems of a technology that barely even exists yet in practice: ‘All This Talk about De-extinction Is Endangering the Whole Idea’ (March 2014) Motherboard, https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/bmjnvv/all-this-talk-about-de-extinction-is-endangering-the-whole-idea
Chapter 15: A Melting Giant
- Sergey Zimov’s scientific article on the amount of carbon in the permafrost: ‘Permafrost and the Global Carbon Budget’ (June 2006) Science, vol. 312, pp. 1612–13, http://imedea.uib-csic.es/master/cambioglobal/Modulo_V_cod101619/Permafrost%20response.pdf
- Scientific article about the link between the climate and the carbon contained in the melting permafrost: ‘Climate Change and the Permafrost Carbon Feedback’ (April 2015) Nature, vol. 520, pp. 171–9, https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14338
- An in-depth report, by me, on the melting permafrost in Siberia: ‘Svarta hotet’ (November 2015) Forskning & Framsteg, http://fof.se/tidning/2015/10/artikel/svarta-hotet
- The lack of large herbivores causes a great many problems, one of which is the shortage of dung: ‘How Poop Made the World Go ’Round’ (November 2015) The Atlantic, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2015/11/how-the-poop-of-giant-animal-species-kept-the-world-healthy/413608
Below I have collected together some examples of critiques of de-extinction and the ongoing theoretical debate between various scientists about the possibility of resurrecting extinct animals. This makes interesting reading, and I would like to draw attention to a few articles that may offer a good way into the subject. There are further discussions of ethics in Chapter 14.
- Two articles (for and against) and a leader from the magazine Frontiers of Biogeography, vol. 6, March 2014: ‘De-extinction: raising the dead and a number of important questions’; ‘From Dinosaurs to Dodos: who could and should we de-extinct?’; ‘De-extinction in a Crisis Discipline’. Link to all: https://escholarship.org/uc/fb/6/1
- A biological scientist who is extremely positive about the experiments: Greene, ‘As Far as We Can Go, as Far as We Want to Go …’, Centre for Humans & Nature, https://www.humansandnature.org/conservation-extinction-harry-w.-greene
- A biologist who is very critical of the attempts to resurrect animal species: Ehrenfeld, ‘Resurrected Mammoths and Dodos? Don’t Count on It’ (March 2013) The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/23/de-extinction-efforts-are-waste-of-time-money
- Another very critical biologist: Ehrlich, ‘The Case against De-Extinction: it’s a fascinating but dumb idea’ (January 2014) Environment 360, http://e360.yale.edu/features/the_case_against_de-extinction_its_a_fascinating_but_dumb_idea
- Yet another very critical biologist: Pimm, ‘The Case against Species Revival’ (March 2013) National Geographic, https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/03/130312–deextinction-conservation-animals-science-extinction-biodiversity-habitat-environment/