genetics

Bringing Back Departed Species: Is De-Extinction a Good Idea?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | April 19th, 2013 | 1 Comment
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: Arabian Oryx Sanctuary, burcado, Chinese river dolphins, climate change, clone, cloning, de-extinction, dinosaurs, DNA, Eco Travel, environment, ethics, extinct, extinction, frogs, gastric brooding frog, genetics, habitat, habitat destruction, harm to wildlife, Jurassic Park, loss of habitat, natural habitats, nature, oryx, passsenger pigeon, poaching, Pyrenean ibex, reintroduction of wildlife, science, species extinction, Tasmanian tiger, technology, wildlife poaching, woolly mammoth

Frog on a leaf

The image of the woolly mammoth, saber-toothed cat and dodo bird stepping out of a beaker on the cover of National Geographic’s April issue says it all. Science has found a way to bring back some long-extinct species — or at least, facsimiles of them.

In truth, the goat-like bucardo, or Pyrenean ibex, is the only extinct animal scientists have actually revived. In 2003, biologists managed to clone an offspring from frozen skin cells from the last survivor, which died in 2000. The clone, however, lived for only a few minutes after its birth. Since then, advances in cloning technology have made it possible to bring back any species if there is a remnant of DNA.

But with so many habitat pressures on the wild species that are already here and with so many on the brink of extinction, is bringing back those we’ve already lost a good idea?

Zoos: Saviors of Threatened Species or Creators of Unnatural Ones?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | December 17th, 2012 | 6 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: africa, biodiversity, cheetahs, China, conservation, Eco Travel, elephants, endangered speices, environment, Ethiopia, extinction, genetic diversity, genetics, giant pandas, Green Living, lions, natural habitats, nature, North African Barbary lions, Smithsonian National Zoo, South African Cape lions, species extinction, Tasmanian tiger, threatened species, travel, wild animals, zoos

Lion Under Tree

A new species of lion has recently been discovered, announced the National Geographic Society a few weeks ago. Were the animals caught by camera trap or spotted by a tracker in the remote regions of Africa? No. They were found — in all places — in an Ethiopian zoo. It’s questionable whether any other representatives of this species are alive in the wild today.

All over the world, the struggle to keep endangered species from going extinct is often played out in zoos or in captive breeding centers. The last known Tasmanian tiger lived out its life in a zoo before it died in 1936, giant pandas are being bred in Chinese reserves and whooping cranes are being raised at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland.

Living in zoos or in other places of captivity, however, changes wild animals — sometimes to the point where behaviorally they little resemble their wild counterparts. But is keeping an altered, threatened wild species from going extinct better than losing it altogether?

Sugar Addiction? It Might Be Genetic

Mark Hyman, M.D. by Mark Hyman, M.D. | April 15th, 2011 | 3 Comments
topic: Detox, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss | tags: addiction, addicts, alcohol, amino acids, appetite, artificial sweeteners, bedtime, blood sugar, breakfast, chemicals, Chromium, cravings, diabetes, diet, dopamine receptor, dr. mark hyman, drugs, eating before bed, food, food allergies, Food sensitivities, fruit juice, genes, genetics, glucomannan, glutamine, hormones, hunger, inflammation, insulin, medical research, neurotransmitters, nutrition, nutritional deficiencies, omega-3 fatty acids, pleasure, protein, refined sugar, reward centers, Rhodiola, science, sleep, small meals, soda, stress, sugar, tyrosine and 5-HTP, Vitamin D, weight-loss, willpower

Hand reaching into a cookie jarWe’re all programmed to like sugar, but new research shows that some people are genetically much more prone to sugar addiction than others.

As I noted in my previous blog on food addiction, science demonstrates that people can be biologically addicted to sugar and other foods in the same way people can be addicted to heroin, cocaine or nicotine. Bingeing and addictive behaviors are eerily similar in alcoholics and sugar addicts. In fact, many recovering alcoholics switch to another easily available drug: sugar.

What’s Missing from the New Vitamin D Recommendations?

Mark Hyman, M.D. by Mark Hyman, M.D. | January 26th, 2011 | 2 Comments
topic: Family Health, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: autoimmune disease, bone density, calcium, cancer, dairy, dark leafy greens, depression, diabetes, diet, Dietary Reference Intakes, doctor, DRIs, fibromyalgia, fish, genetics, health, heart disease, immune system, influenza, Institute of Medicine, intake, IOM, IU, medicine, milk, nutrition, physician, science, skeletal systems, studies, sun, sunlight, the flu, thyroid, Vitamin D

Vitamin D capsulesOne day, vitamin D seems like the cure for everything, and the next, we are inundated with warnings about dangers and lack of science. Confusion is rampant about the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for Calcium and Vitamin D recently released from the Institute of Medicine.