woolly mammoth
Can you patent a Woolly Mammoth? An unclear ethical line in
de-extinction science

In a recent article in the popular science and technology publication Wired, writer Matt Reynolds explores the practical implications of why “You’re (Maybe) Gonna Need a Patent for That Woolly Mammoth”.

The idea that scientists are modifying DNA and racing to bring extinct species back from the dead may conjure up thoughts of worst-case scenarios as depicted in Jurassic Park films. If, like in the films, genetic engineering (cutting and pasting genes in DNA from two organisms to create new genetic material) is successful in resurrecting the woolly mammoth, does the inventiveness of combining two naturally pre-existing genes qualify the new species for patent protection? Or is the new organism protected by nature? More…