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Using CRISPR to resurrect the dead

CNET: “…As we stuff and mount the dead in museum hallways, scientists are working to stop the carnage. One of our most powerful tools to fight biological obliteration is CRISPR, a burgeoning gene-editing technology that acts like a molecular blade, slicing DNA apart and allowing us to add and subtract genes at will. It’s now being used to combat invasive species, destroy antibiotic-resistance bacteria and, controversially, edit the genes of human embryos. In fact, it’s so exceptional at editing DNA that “de-extinction,” the process of bringing extinct species back from the dead, is on the table.

Science has already unraveled the DNA code of long-dead species such as the woolly mammoth, the passenger pigeon and Australia’s iconic Tasmanian tiger — and now, pioneering researchers are using CRISPR to remake modern-day descendants in the image of their ancient counterparts. Could we transform an Asian elephant into a woolly mammoth? We are marching toward that reality…”

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