Can Genetic Information Preserve Species?  

By Ashley Ndliwayo 

Organisms are known to produce other similar organisms through the process of sexual reproduction. It is this process which provides genetic material to be linked to upcoming generations. Different kinds of species maintain genetic information which links individual members and their successive generations. This genetic material allows living things to function and potentially pass it down from generation to generation.

All plants and animals have cells that can  transfer genetic material. The survival of these species relies on the genetic information found in them; therefore, it is this information that is used to trace these species whether in present generations or past ones. Oliver Ryder, a geneticist at the Centre for Reproduction of Endangered Species, clarifies that the biological diversity of the planet is being depleted rapidly due to direct or indirect consequence of human action or other species. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has seen the need to conserve biodiversity. 

The genetic makeup of organisms is a result of how they can be traced or preserved for the future. This develops the forms of chromosomes and genes. The preservation will take place from the traces of these characteristics. Also, DNA samples can be studied and kept providing future generations with an accurate record of species that are at a risk of being threatened such as the black rhinos or the pandas. Ryder and his colleagues believe that scientists compile samples in the science lab to provide a higher possibility of reconstituting an extinct species.

We may be uncertain of what the future holds, but one thing we can be certain about is our current actions and the preservation of DNA samples of various species seems to be vouched for by many, but is it really the best way to conserve biodiversity?

Photo credit: Pavel Danilyuk. 2021. Medical professional looking through a medical microscope. [Online].  


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