Population Matters

Artificial animals to save the planet?

Artificial animals to save the planet?

A recent project by designer Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg proposes that bioengineered creatures be released into the wild to save endangered species and clean up pollution. And she’s already designed four organisms to do it, including soil-scouring slugs and seed-dispersing porcupines.

Synthetic biology is not a new concept. Craig Venter proposed the idea a few years ago, and recently a Stanford research team created the first complete model of a living organism. But what Ginsberg is proposing — at least at a conceptual level — is something a bit more…macro.

Her new project, called Designing for the Sixth Extinction, is intended to spark debate about how artificial animals could be used to solve environmental problems. She suggests we should go about “rewilding” in order to “preserve or maintain a state of nature using synthetic organisms that are designed to save other species.”


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Read more on this issue: value of biodiversity

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