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Bringing Back the Neanderthals

Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton’s fictional scenario about reviving extinct animals through DNA technology, is nearing reality. A report in The New Scientist suggests that although it would be impossible to restore dinosaurs to the earth, at least 10 extinct species, including Neanderthal man, the Tasmanian tiger, and the dodo, could be brought back to life. Genetic information stored in long dead specimens recovered from permafrost, dark caves, or dry deserts could be implanted in a surrogate species similar to that of the extinct animal resulting in a feasible embryo. Among other species that could now be cloned: the short-faced bear, the glyptodon, the woolly rhinoceros, the giant ground sloth, the Irish elk, and the moa. "Of course, bringing extinct creatures back to life raises a whole host of practical problems, such as where they will live,” explains the magazine, “but let's not spoil the fun..."