The animals could play a key role in slowing climate change.
As with any promising new technology, voices have risen in opposition to it, and there are some valid concerns.
Elizabeth Kolbert: Right now, fossil fuels are central to just about everything that we do, including reading and writing
It is probably the most dramatic extinction story ever witnessed. Yet now there is interest and even the possibility of bringing the most famously extinct bird back.
It's amazing to think of the advances in genetic science and technology made during our lifetime. But when it comes to the idea of resurrecting a woolly mammoth via genetic wizardry in a laboratory, just because we can, does that mean that we should?
The essence of these verses is as relevant today as it has ever been. Do our choices enhance life for all of us? It seems to me the wisdom lies in letting the extinct stay extinct.
"In short, we should bring back extinct animals for the same reasons we protect endangered species: to preserve biodiversity, to restore diminished ecosystems, to advance the science of preventing extinctions and to undo harm that humans have caused in the past."
Biologists briefly brought the extinct Pyrenean ibex back to life in 2003 by creating a clone from a frozen tissue sample harvested before the goat's entire population vanished in 2000. The clone survived just seven minutes after birth, but it gave scientists hope that "de-extinction," once a pipedream, could become a reality.
Death is still forever, but extinction may not be. A dead body can't be reanimated once it begins to rot, but the essence of a species -- its genome -- survives rot for centuries, even thousands of years. That DNA knows how to make living animals, once we figure out how to invite it to do so.
What would happen if humans could resurrect long-extinct species? The concept prompts a number of ethical and scientific
Speaking of the ibex clone to National Geographic in 2010, David Wildt, a senior scientist at the Smithsonian's National
Email Megan Gannon or follow her @meganigannon. Follow LiveScience on Twitter @livescience. We're also on Facebook & Google