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friday 2 october


Freezing for the future

The idea of giving up on the present and freezing for the future is not a new concept. So when I bumped into Scientists build ‘frozen zoo’ to save endangered species on the CNN website this past week I was struck by the reoccurring arrogance and ‘give-upness’ of those who propose and push such ideas.  “Essentially the genetics are immortal,” one of the projects interviewees said. “You could go in 20, 30, 200 years theoretically, you could thaw these stem cells out, and turn them into sperm and eggs.”[1] And then into species one would conclude. But I have to ask, what is this wildness 200 years from now that these regenerated endangered species will crawl, swim and fly into?

On another screen I have multiple stories reflecting the tragedy of the fires now raging across Kalimantan Borneo and Sumatra, fires set in the aftermath of rainforests being clear cut for palm oil and paper pulp. Up in smoke drift the wilds of the future, which no amount of freezing will repopulate.

Or are we talking about cookie-cutter look-alike species, animal crackers for our zoo collections?


Notes & Sources



2015-2016 Global research and reporting on great apes made possible in part through the generous financial support of the Philadelphia Zoo

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