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The DNA of a frozen specimen was used to grow embryos

Australian scientists have successfully taken the first steps necessary for bringing back an extinct frog species.

The team, led by University of New South Wales paleontologist Mike Archer, has grown embryos with the revived DNA of the extinct gastric-brooding frog for the first time.

The gastric-brooding frogs were a genus of ground-dwelling frogs that were native to Queensland in eastern Australia. It was quite an extraordinary genus because it had the only two known frog species that incubated their offspring in the stomach.

However, the gastric-brooding frog became extinct in 1983.


Now, the research team has brought their DNA back to life. It did this by reviving frozen DNA samples of a gastric-brooding frog and inserting the genetic material into donor eggs. The donor eggs were those of a distant relative -- the great barred frog. But the great barred frog's DNA was deactivated by UV light.

As time went on, the cells began dividing, showing signs of growing embryos.

The embryos have not yet turned into tadpoles, but research shows that the dividing cells do, in fact, have the DNA of the extinct frog.

"We do expect to get this guy hopping again," Archer said.

While finding viable DNA and creating the frog embryos was no easy task, this opens the door to the possibility of bringing other extinct species back to life.

Source: smh.com.au



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RE: Question
By Etsp on 3/19/2013 2:04:50 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see any reason why studying creatures that were ill-suited to survival is somehow of less benefit to the study of evolution than the study of animals that were well suited to it.

Understanding the traits of these creatures, including behavioral patterns would be immensely beneficial to understand exactly what types of things causes species to be ill-suited to survival, and why others are well adapted to it.

Aside from that, almost any species going extinct could be considered "bad", because that lessens the genetic diversity of all known life, which exists only on this one planet.


RE: Question
By Ammohunt on 3/19/2013 3:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
Just saying that its a good chance that certain creatures were at the end of their existence anyway and we should not introduce extinct species back into nature.


RE: Question
By MrBlastman on 3/19/2013 3:46:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Aside from that, almost any species going extinct could be considered "bad", because that lessens the genetic diversity of all known life, which is known to exist only on this one planet for now.


Correction. See above.

We may or may not find life elsewhere. Given the gigantic expanse of stars, galaxies and matter outside our own precious little sphere, it is entirely possible there is other life out there. We may never know, though. Not unless we break past the physical boundaries that hem us to this star system. It is also possible that even if we do, we may still never discover it. Or, perhaps, it is also likely that we might be alone at this point in time--time that has extended into the past for 13.77 billion years--and now is our time to exist with all prior extra-terrestrial species having gone extinct.

Whatever your view on the above, whatever you might believe, I'm sure any scientist could tell you that the study of any and all life is beneficial to us as a whole, no matter how different from us they might be.


RE: Question
By Etsp on 3/19/2013 5:00:35 PM , Rating: 2
That's why I said all known life, because there might be life elsewhere that we will never encounter (Or that we will). Or there may not be.


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