THE DODO could be brought back to life hundreds of years after going extinct thanks to a DNA breakthrough.
Scientists have managed to sequence the entire genome of the flightless bird for the first time, meaning it could one day be cloned.
Experts could edit DNA from a pigeon to include dodo DNA, as the two have quite similar genetics.
3ft-tall Dodos once roamed Mauritius but were completely wiped out in the 17th century.
The possibility of their return was raised after Professor Beth Shapiro revealed that she was planning to share the complete DNA of a specimen soon, the Telegraph reports.
However, speaking during a Royal Society of Medicine webinar she warned that bringing back the extinct bird would not be easy.
“Mammals are simpler,” she explained.
“If I have a cell and it’s living in a dish in the lab and I edit it so that it has a bit of Dodo DNA, how do I then transform that cell into a whole living, breathing, actual animal?
“The way we can do this is to clone it, the same approach that was used to create Dolly the Sheep, but we don’t know how to do that with birds because of the intricacies of their reproductive pathways.
“So there needs to be another approach for birds and this is one really fundamental technological hurdle in de-extinction.
“There are groups working on different approaches for doing that and I have little doubt that we are going to get there but it is an additional hurdle for birds that we don’t have for mammals.”
There a similar hopes for the woolly mammoth, whose genome has also been fully sequenced thanks to well-preserved specimens found in permafrost in Siberia.
Entrepreneur Ben Lamm and Harvard geneticist George Church have created a new gene-editing company called Colossal that plans to bring the woolly mammoth back to life.
This would involve splicing woolly mammoth DNA with that of a modern Asian elephant and then creating an embryo which could be grown in an artificial womb or a surrogate elephant.
In other news, prudish Nasa has admitted it may have to study sex in space if humanity is ever going to make it to other planets.
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