Internet Flaneur – August 2, 2013

  • De-Extinction – Studio 360 071913
    Bringing extinct animals back has usually been left to the world of science fiction. But a group of biologists is attempting it in the real world. The organization Revive & Restore, a project of the Long Now Foundation, held a day-long TEDx conference on de-extinction a few months ago at the National Geographic Society. This is not quack science; some of the research involves Harvard University, UC Santa Cruz, and Wake Forest University, among other institutions. Painter Isabella Kirkland, who is also a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences, opened the event with an image of her painting Gone. It looks like a Dutch master’s oil painting, depicting 63 extinct New World species arrayed on a table elegantly: the Carolina parakeet, the golden toad, and in the central place of honor, Martha, the last passenger pigeon, who died in 1914. The passenger pigeon is the preoccupation of Revive & Restore’s Ben Novak, a genetic biologist. “It’s my job to bring the bird back to life.” Novak began thinking about resurrecting animals in junior high school, when he did a science fair project on the dodo bird. “It’s the icon of extinction — ‘dead as a dodo,’ as they say — and I learned that the dodo is actually a giant extinct pigeon. It gave me the pigeon bug.” The techniques are complicated and untried, but de-extinction is simple in concept: take DNA from a dead sample in a natural history museum somewhere, and plant it in the egg of a living relative — in this case, the band-tailed pigeon. If it works, the living bird will hatch an egg out of which will come the clone of a long-dead bird.
  • Multi-team SWAT call ends with suspect dead 073113
    YELLOW SPRINGS — A SWAT standoff involving authorities from nearly every Greene County police jurisdiction, Clark County deputies, Ohio Highway Patrol troopers and several Montgomery County jurisdictions, including Dayton, ended with the suspect dead, according to authorities. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is responding to the scene. A SWAT robot entered the house around 5 a.m. and discovered the suspect down on the floor, News Center 7’s Mike Campbell reported. SWAT members were leaving their positions around the house just after 5 a.m.
  • Police shoot-out ends in villager’s death – The Yellow Springs News
    The Sheriff’s Department will launch an investigation into the stand-off, which Fischer described as “a very dangerous situation. Dangerous for my deputies and dangerous for the neighbors.” The department will not at this time release the name of the deceased man. However, the stand-off began when Yellow Springs police were called to the home of Paul Schenck due to a domestic disturbance between Schenck and his son. The officer who responded met with gunfire, and called for back-up, at which time police and sheriff departments from both Greene and Clark Counties responded. The first sheriff deputies who responded also took gunfire, Fischer said. The son of the shooter sustained injuries and was transported away from the home by the Miami Township Fire Rescue Squad before 2 a.m. The sounds of gunfire were heard in the neighborhood until about 2:20 a.m., when the last shots were fired. Before that, police fired several rounds and the local man fired what Sheriff Fischer estimated were “dozens” of shots. The investigation will determine if the villager died from a self-inflicted wound or from police fire, Fischer said.
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