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Project Quagga (re-breeding extinct species)

 
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oll_lewisOffline
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PostPosted: 23-07-2003 20:30    Post subject: Project Quagga (re-breading extinct species) Reply with quote

The Quagga was a strage species of horse, once common in southan Africa that looked a bit like a Barnumesque cut and shut between a horse and a Zebra. The frount half was striped like a zebra and the back half usuly had brownish coulouring and no stripes, the physical features looked superfically like a Zebra.

The quagga became extinct when the last known quaggar died at an Amsterdam zoo in 1883, the quagga in the wild had become extinct due to over hunting and persecution (it was seen as competition for the sheep) some time previously.

It was discovered through genetic analysis that the quagga was a subspecies of the plains zebra, from this study the quagga project was born.

The aims of the project as stated on the offical website, are:
Quote:
The Quagga project attempts to breed through selection a population of plains zebras, which in its external appearance, and possibly genetically as well, will be closer, if not identical to the former population known as 'Quagga', which was exterminated during the second half of the last century.


overveiw poster

Quagga project offical site


The Quagga project is basicly trying to breed a species at least cosmtcly simmilar to the extinct quagga from plins zebra, the question is though, if it dose sucseed in this aim have they really broght the quagga back?
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Philo_TOffline
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PostPosted: 23-07-2003 21:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

the question is though, if it dose sucseed in this aim have they really broght the quagga back?


This question is of crucial importance, because it the answer is in the affirmative, then it opens the door for X-treme hunting : where we preserve genetic samples of a species before hunting it to extinction with the goal in mind of later resurrecting the species so we can hunt it to extinction again. Devil This way, many hunters can experience the ultimate thrill of killing off the very last specimen of a species. It's better than that "hunting bambi" they've got going on in the desert outside Las Vegas to cull the prostitute population.
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oll_lewisOffline
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PostPosted: 23-07-2003 22:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

The interesting thing about the quagga project is that rather than going through a genetic cloneing route, they are literally trying to breed genes into a population to produce a new species, cosmeticly similar at least to the extinct quaggas.
Deextinctifying (as george bush might say as there is no actual word for it) species by genetic cloneing and implantation (the Jurasic park method) is at present just about as impossible as you can get, but you would get a 'real' deextintifaction.

There are 3 main problems with the 'jurasic park method' which is the method being employed by the scientists in another project to deextinctify a species, the Tazmainian tiger. The problems in breif are:
[list=1]
[*]genetic deteriation of the sample: Often a sample will have been stored to preserve apperanse, the processes often 'buggers up' the DNA, infact it's pritty much impossible to protect DNA for a long length of time even when frozen chains have a tendency to break. (did my hon project on this btw Very Happy ).
[*]unsuitibility of host embronic cells and suragate mothers: You're dealing with a species that has been extinct for who knows how long, even if a host species is a very close getnetic match, it's no garentee that it will be anthing near similar in terms of womb morphology for example. It is extreamly likly that both suragate and embrio will die dureing the pregnancy.
[*]The high likly hood of cloning faliures: Cloneing is an extreamly wasteful and distructive process. if you could get an intact strand of DNA then you can potentially go through millions of blastocysts before getting one thats 'right' and if one of the implated embyos did grow to full term and was born, the liklyhood is that the clone will have physical defects anyway.
[/list=1]

But where as the quagga project bipases a lot of those problems it leaves it wide open to others like genenetic bottle necking (not many geanes availible in the population leaving it more vunerable to desease and aplifying instaces of genetic deformity in the population).
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mejane1Offline
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PostPosted: 23-07-2003 22:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, regardless of whether it would be a "true" quagga or not, wouldn't we be better off trying to preserve the species (and their habitat) that are currently on the brink of extinction?

Um, and just to show my complete ignorance of all things biological, where do we get the quagga genes from?

Jane.
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oll_lewisOffline
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PostPosted: 23-07-2003 22:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

mejane wrote:

Um, and just to show my complete ignorance of all things biological, where do we get the quagga genes from?


from the plains zebrea, they were a subspecies of plains zebra.

think about it as if the plains zebra had a kid and the kid was the quagga. The website is quite comprehensive thogh and will explain things in better detail than that.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 24-07-2003 17:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly the DNA of all the endangererd species in the world should be sequenced as soon as possible; this will allow for the DNA to be reconstructed accurately at a later date.

The next couple of hundred years will no doubt see an increase of human pressure on the environment; we are causing an ongoing mass extinction event;
but this one may be the first such event which will have a deliberately designed recovery.
The species which are preserved will be recoverable; schemes like this quagga reconstruction may give us other lost species back;
imaginative genetic engineering might reconstruct the extinct marsupials, tertiary mammals and perhaps even dinosaurs, rather than using ancient DNA directly,( this will probably be only useful as a general guide)...
wholly new species may well be designed from scratch, leading to a diversification of species far outstripping the Cambrian explosion.


Last edited by Guest on 24-07-2003 17:20; edited 1 time in total
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Timble2Offline
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PostPosted: 24-07-2003 18:15    Post subject: Not so dead as a Dodo Reply with quote

Dodos belong to the pigeon and dove family, so with the genetic information from the bits and piece of them left in museums and some tweaking, perhaps they're candidates for retinction.

Some info at:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/02/0227_0228_dodo.html

And perhaps one day we'll see this for real:

http://www.thursdaynext.com/petedave.html
Very Happy
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oll_lewisOffline
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PostPosted: 24-07-2003 18:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scientists are aready building up a genetic database of plants, with paticular attention payed to flowering plants (angiosperms).

The millennium seed bank project
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rossba1Offline
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PostPosted: 25-07-2003 09:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi guys,
i work in the lab with Beth, who did the work on the Dodo. General concensus round here is that though ancient DNA work is very interesting and sexy for looking at interspecific phylogenies and intraspecific genetic diversity over time there aint no way that youll be able to "deextinctify" animals using preserved DNA samples. Cells are packed full of enzymes which break down DNA (they are regulated during life so they only attack waste DNA or invasive viruses etc.) As soon as a cell/organism dies these are no longer controlled and start to work on the cell/organisms own DNA. Like any chemical hydrolysis reaction this can be retarded by lack of water and low temperature. The best place to get ancient DNA is arctic permafrost (Canada, Alaska, Siberia) and there is DNA retrievable back to possibly 100Kyr. But for the most part any archaeological sample will only give you fragments of 100-200bp at once. To put this in perspective the Human genome is 3x10~9 bp long and a single mistake is enough to produce a potentially lethal disease like Sickle cell anaemia or cystic fibrosis. for an ancient sample youd have to perform approx. 2x10~7 PCR reactions to get the whole genome and even then you've got to stick it together in the right order with out a single mistake. Its impossible just now.
The only way to save the earths biodiversity is to use the resources sparingly and efficiently and downsize the Human population significantly.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 28-07-2003 02:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

The only way to save the earths biodiversity is to use the resources sparingly and efficiently and downsize the Human population significantly.

Well, you see, this is the problem... we are not going to downsize the earth's population while poverty encourages half the world to have children as a form of pension for their old age;
population is declining and fertility is low in rich western countries;
to ensure that fertility is low everywhere the whole world needs to have a western standard of living.
Any other way of decreasing population is simply discrimination against the poor.

This plan does have a hole or two in it; the biodiversity enthusiasts
-(and I count myself as one, with my ancient environmental science degree)-
want to keep eighty percent of the world as a wilderness, to allow enough room for the wild life of the Earth to recover;
you can't do that, and house nine billion people in comfort, with 5-10% of the land surface converted into solar energy collectors.
No.
The next two hundred years will definitely show intolerable pressure on the natural world, even if things actually improve for many of the human population.
This is why the endangered species must have their genomes recorded in a non volatile format so that we can get them back in the fullness of time.
One day the whole Earth might be a wildlife reserve, and we will come to visit from the rest of the solar system and galaxy in reverence, while the collected DNA is spreading through the galaxy at fractions of the speed of light.
A Vision
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JamesWhiteheadOffline
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PostPosted: 18-11-2013 13:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Zebra that turned into a Quagga! Smile
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