Saturday, August 20, 2016
Jurassic Auk! Researchers reveal plan to use DNA to bring back flightless seabird that has been extinct for 200 years
It was last seen on British shores 200 years ago - but the great auk could soon return. An international team of scientists has met to discuss reintroducing the flightless marine birds onto the Farne islands off the north-east coast of England.
Until the species' final extinction in the middle of the 19th century, great auks ranged across the Atlantic from Northern Europe to Iceland, Canada and the eastern United States.
Scientists could extract great auk DNA from fossils or preserved organs. From this, they hope to be able to sequence the animal's entire genetic code, or genome. This could then be edited into the cells of its nearest living relative, the razorbill. Fertilised embryos would then be implanted into a bird big enough to lay a great auk egg, such as a goose"