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27 February 2024

If I had a STEM superpower… Reviving Extinct Species

Check out one of the runner-up essays, by Sasha Mbogho, with the wonderful idea of reviving extinct species and preventing the extinction of endangered species!

Someone writing an essay

“We all have a responsibility to protect endangered species, both for their sake and for the sake of our own future generations.”

Loretta Lynch

If I had STEM superpower it would be the ability to revive extinct species relative to the time period and prevent extinction of endangered species. It is evident that due to the current affairs and effects of previous generations, our wildlife, flora and fauna are facing extinction day by day. It disheartened me to hear that back in 2021, the Ivory Billed woodpecker was officially announced extinct! This had a personal effect on me as even though Woody the woodpecker was an Acorn Woodpecker, they were still of the same species!

Due to the increasing change in climate and human mindsets, our animals and plants are falling on the sharp end of the knife. This year, it was confirmed that every year, the planet gets hotter by a mean of 1 degree Celsius. Global warming has directly led to floods such as the El Nino that is being expected by the start of October, drought in certain parts of the world and natural reproduction. Furthermore, global warming has indirectly led to human-wildlife encroachment, poaching and deforestation as people look for new ways to provide themselves with food and water.

Why oh, why would we do this to our wildlife? Could we just co-exist! That is where I come in with zeal and zest. Ms. Genecode to the rescue! Dolly the sheep is a clear example of what my powers could do but what if it was better! Fatu and Najin are white rhinos from Kenya who are under the red light of extinction. In 2018, the last male white rhino species died but their sperms were harvested and frozen in attempt to fertilize eggs retrieved by Fatu and Najin. In Italy they were able to fertilize the eggs but the implantation was implemented on a Southern white rhino which is under careful supervision.

AI-generated image of a scientist working in reviving extinct species

What if there was a way to bring creatures that have faced the same consequences back to life. My powers would be able to produce mass genetic engineering for these creatures. With the simple snap of my fingers, dodo birds would grace our lands with their songs and St. Helena olive trees would provide us with the best virgin olive oil.

Of course, there are a lot of factors that have to be taken into consideration. The animal or plant has to be relative to the time period. It would be quite a sight to see dinosaurs roaming the Earth and coexisting with humans!

As Steve Irwin, the renowned conservationist and wildlife expert said “We don’t own the planet Earth, we belong to it. And we must share it with our wildlife.” I keep thinking on about the future generation and how they would not know what fun it brought me to touch a Shameplant and its leaves closed up. My superpower would ensure that everyone would be able to experience the beauty of nature in its whole entirety.

Inspiring STEM superpowers

If you found this essay inspiring, you should check out Skyler’s entry. She writes about the ability to not only create water, but create fresh water that is safe to drink.

Read Skyler's entry
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