Mammoth resurrection: 11 hurdles to bringing back an ice age beast

Ethical dilemmas

Archaeologist working late at night.

(Image credit: Elnur/Shutterstock)

The largest question might not revolve around the science of de-extinction, but rather whether we should attempt it.

Is it ethical to bring back an extinct animal? Should we be spending our time and resources on maintaining currently endangered animals? If de-extinction is made possible, how long are humans responsible for the animals they resurrected?

However scientists choose to move forward, it's important to engage with the public and be as transparent as possible about the parameters and goals of the project, the researchers on the AMNH de-extinction panel said. 

Laura Geggel

Laura is the archaeology and Life's Little Mysteries editor at Live Science. She also reports on general science, including paleontology. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site on autism research. She has won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her reporting at a weekly newspaper near Seattle. Laura holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in science writing from NYU.