Spencer Ferri

Just a thinker, and a talker!

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Regenesis - restoring life by giving birth to the dead

A month ago I was told why it wasn't feasible to print extinct animals and then re-introduce them into the wild. After proposing the idea to the guy from Sharkwater while speaking about his newer movie, a woman approached be and explained that after a species is extinct its former environment changes, right down to the soil, and becomes incompatible with that life form.

If the issue we'll have is a compatability issue, then the solution is to re-introduce the matter of the animal back into the ecosystem before the animal itself.

If we can print a living creature from it's DNA, and if we can print human limbs, we can thus print animal limbs, aye? Can we reduce what the printer prints even further? How about just a mass of matter which is equal to the composition of the animal without being in any way animate?

If we did take a species which we ourselves recently made extinct, printed the matter of the animal and spread the matter in the environment, it'll decay right back into the soil and from there into the whole system. After a period of time, the animal itself could be introduced to the environment.

The problems I forsee are three-form. Firstly, there may be a cost to that same environment, to introduce food which does not need to be hunted for by whatever creatures which eat it. Second, there will be a cultural divide; predators may not know how to hunt this new prey, nor may this new prey know to run. These new animals will essentially be unadapted to their environment.

  • Jul 13 2013: You entirely missed her point. It is not about the chemical composition of the environment, it is about the environment as a whole. That is, the entire interconnected system changes when an organism disappears from it. The physical "stuff" doesn't change, it's the whole network that changes--adapts to the new situation. Reintroducing a species into a former environment is essentially identical, in terms of disruption, of introducing an invasive species into a new environment.

    It has nothing at all to do with dropping animal parts in and letting them decay. It is the SYSTEM that has changed, not the chemical substances in the system.
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    Aug 13 2013: Hi Spencer
    Look at any of the videos by J. Craig Venter. He is doing the best cutting edge DNA work. The Michael Archer video talks about cloning of extinct species like in the movie Jurassic Park. 3D printing of a human kidney involves printing with culture grown living human kidney cells. They may have been modified in some way by the technologies being developed by Craig Venter. They may be very healthy kidney cells taken from your own body. But 3D printing of a kidney is not the same as reanimating an extinct animal.

    I'm downloading the Anthony Atala video now. Everything is slow today.
  • Aug 3 2013: I agree, do we need to reintroduce something like this to our current environment? Where I do have a question is the statement of the fight of flight of the animal. Would this prey know how to hunt and would they be aware that they need to run from predators? I personally think they would. If we are reanimating the dead from DNA I think that somewhere in there we would be reviving the animals natural instincts as well. I guess we will find out when we see the first wooly mammoth!
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    Jul 13 2013: DNA is made of protein. We all know what protein is, it's just some substance made of chemical compounds (I'm no expert in chemistry). I think I may have insight as to how DNA works.

    DNA is a code, a string of information. A string of data. But what is data? Data is a representation of information.


    Let's say I have some apples. A red apple, a green apple, and a yellow apple.

    These apples are data, and I'll show you how.

    Let's say when I put the apples in this order: red, yellow, green.
    I tell my friend, "When I put the apples in this order of coloring, it means it's time to eat."

    Order of the apples : what the representation means or what command the order represents
    Red, Yellow, Green : Time to Eat

    Other orders can also represent different issues of command.
    Red, Green, Yellow : Time to Play
    Green, Red, Yellow : Time to Sleep
    Green, Yellow, Red : Time to Practice the Piano
    Yellow, Red, Green : Time to Dance
    Yellow, Green, Red : Time to Exercise

    Now in computers, we have only 0's and 1's, and depending on the order and combination of 0's and 1's, data or relevant information is stored within each representation.

    Data can be represented by ANYTHING. A light switch. A traffic light. English letters. Even some random order of different colored apples that I conceptualized in 2 minutes. Even PROTEINS (Look at DNA), even apparently ATOMS (Look into Quantum Computing).

    This is Computer Science. And I hope that brought a new perspective into this, if not, then I hope it reinforced what you already have known.