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Old 01/11/2018, 12:17 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Daddi0 View Post
This is more like people who have terminal diseases freezing themselves, hoping future technology would be able to cure the these and be able to end cryostasis.

Idea is to basically make a genetic information repository of corals and freeze coral tissues. Based on a pure science perspective this has very high scientific value, as it would yield large amount of information about coral genetics. But I am not that sure about the conservation standpoint.

First off, we cannot generate an organism just by using the genetic information (even if we have whole genome and mitochondrial DNA). Closes thing that has been done is removing DNA of one bacteria and adding the DNA of a closely related species. But even this can only be done in very simple members of bacteria kingdom, that are closely related to start with. We know the genomes of several extinct animals like the wooly mammoth and the Tasmanian tiger, but we cant use that to built a new mammoth from scratch. That idea is more like scifi than actual science.

Second for a moment lets assume future technology allows us to use genetic info to built corals in "vats" and revive frozen corals. Even then to have a viable population, we need to have genetic info or tissue of thousands of individuals of every coral specie. There are over 140 Acropora species and that is just one genus. If we assume there are 2000 total species, it would make 2 million individual samples. So you would need to have millions of individuals and know exactly what kind of habitat these individual require, introduce them to those places and hope they can survive and reproduce.

Lastly, when coral reefs disappear, that habitat quickly changes to another type. Some times it turns into algae fields, some reef erode into sand and the environment turns into open sand beds. So even if you have the corals, you might no longer have the habitat they used to live. This is the main argument against cloning mammoths. We have the technology and soft tissue required to clone a mammoths (same way how we clones sheep 20 years ago). But the habitat that once supported mammoths is almost completely gone (maybe except small patches of open tundra). So where would you put that animal, it is ethical to bring it back from extinction just to use have it in a zoo? And again we have soft tissue from just a couple of individuals, so they would go extinct again in couple of generations due to inbreeding.

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