Jun 22, 2017

De-extinction is like any other conservation program

Our Expert Voices conversation on de-extinction.

Bringing back extinct species should be treated like any other conservation program — a case-by-case assessment within the context of long-term costs and benefits.

The real questions: How best to go about proceeding with de-extinction considerations? Where will funding come from? What is technically possible? What species do we attempt to de-extinct first? There are a variety of projects in discussion and development globally that aim to de-extinct species or use biotechnology to help endangered species, including: The extinct woolly mammoth, passenger pigeon, Heath hen, New Zealand's Moa, the quagga subspecies of zebra, aurochs and the gastric brooding frog Endangered species like the black-footed ferret, Northern White rhinoceros, and the American chestnut tree. Bottom line: We've already determined de-extinction can be beneficial; it is simply an extension of well-established conservation efforts to reintroduce species with vital ecological functions around the globe (e.g. wolves in Yellowstone National Park, beavers in Scotland, etc). We now need funding for studies to determine how to do it right. Other voices in the conversation: Joseph Bennett, biologist, Carleton University: Keep animals from going extinct in the first place Molly Hardesty-Moore, ecologist, University of California, Santa Barbara: Don't forget an extinct creature's ecology Alejandro Camacho, legal scholar, University of California, Irvine: Wildlife laws aren't ready for the return of extinct species John Hawks, paleoanthropologist, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Bringing back Neanderthals

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Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Buttigieg campaign claims Nevada caucuses were "plagued with errors"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg's campaign wrote a letter on Sunday asking the Nevada State Democratic Party to release early vote and in-person vote totals by precinct and address certain caucus errors identified by campaigns, The Nevada Independent reports.

The big picture: The campaign alleges that the process of integrating early votes on caucus day was “plagued with errors and inconsistencies,” and says it received more than 200 incident reports from precincts around the state.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus threat grows, threatening some drug supplies

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

As the novel coronavirus continues spreading globally and China grapples with a limited production capability, there's a growing risk to about 150 prescription drugs in the U.S., sources tell Axios.

The big picture: The coronavirus has spread to more countries, with both South Korea and Italy stepping up emergency measures amid rising case numbers on Sunday. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,467 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health