appeared 24 September 2017

What do bleach-resistant coral, mammoth-elephant hybrids, and drought- and CO2-resistant crops have in common? A growing group of scientists think they might be the key to not just fighting climate change, but recovering from its effects. The theory is called “facilitated adaptation,” and it means using genetically modified species to optimize the health of our ecosystems as they exist right now. The idea is to blend technologies for de-extinction, gene-editing, and synthetic biology in order to preserve wildlife and conserve Earth’s ecosystems at the maximum possible levels.