playlist

Is it time for de-extinction?

Is it time to bring back long-lost species? These talks tackle the possibility of a world where Jurassic Park doesn’t seem so science fiction.

  1. 18:24
    Stewart Brand The dawn of de-extinction. Are you ready?

    Throughout humankind's history, we've driven species after species extinct: the passenger pigeon, the Eastern cougar, the dodo ... But now, says Stewart Brand, we have the technology (and the biology) to bring back species that humanity wiped out. So — should we? Which ones? He asks a big question whose answer is closer than you may think.

  2. 17:36
    Michael Archer How we'll resurrect the gastric brooding frog, the Tasmanian tiger

    The gastric brooding frog lays its eggs just like any other frog — then swallows them whole to incubate. That is, it did until it went extinct 30 years ago. Paleontologist Michael Archer makes a case to bring back the gastric brooding frog and the thylacine, commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger.

  3. 15:10
    George Monbiot For more wonder, rewild the world

    Wolves were once native to the US' Yellowstone National Park — until hunting wiped them out. But when, in 1995, the wolves began to come back (thanks to an aggressive management program), something interesting happened: the rest of the park began to find a new, more healthful balance. In a bold thought experiment, George Monbiot imagines a wilder world in which humans work to restore the complex, lost natural food chains that once surrounded us.

  4. 10:22
    Hendrik Poinar Bring back the woolly mammoth!

    It’s the dream of kids all around the world to see giant beasts walk the Earth again. Could — and should — that dream be realized? Hendrik Poinar talks about the next big thing: the quest to engineer a creature that looks very much like our furry friend, the woolly mammoth. The first step, to sequence the woolly genome, is nearly complete. And it’s huge.

  5. 9:53
    Ellen Jorgensen What you need to know about CRISPR

    Should we bring back the wooly mammoth? Or edit a human embryo? Or wipe out an entire species that we consider harmful? The genome-editing technology CRISPR has made extraordinary questions like these legitimate — but how does it work? Scientist and community lab advocate Ellen Jorgensen is on a mission to explain the myths and realities of CRISPR, hype-free, to the non-scientists among us.