Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Cloning The Huia - A Dodo Of An Idea?

It sounded like a dodo of an idea several months ago, but the `cloning the Huia' conference held at Hastings Boys High School over the weekend was a phenomenal success according to one of the organisers, Dr. Rhys Cullen.

Ngati Huia, kaitiaki (guardians) of the Huia expressed their support for the cloning of the huia `if at all possible' in a paper presented by Mr. Rupene Waaka.

Professor Diana Hill, head of the Molecular Biology Unit at the University of Otago, described the project as `flagship research', and `exciting leading edge science of international significance'. Although a cloned huia is some years away, and there are significant technical hurdles, there are also spin-off benefits en route. These include encouraging students to enter careers in science, and providing a focus for discussion of moral and Treaty issues.

Reverend Dr. Norman Ford, Catholic priest and director of the Caroline Chisholm Centre for Health Ethics in Melbourne said that the benefits to Maori and to New Zealand of cloning the Huia meant the research was morally acceptable. In response to a question about whether cloning was `playing God', Professor Ford replied that "man was made in God's image. It was intended that man imitate God, as long as that imitation did not cross the moral line between good and evil."

Pamela Lovis, head of curatorial services at the Science Centre and Manawatu Museum talked about the museum's Huia exhibition that is currently touring the country and opens at the National Library in Wellington soon.

Each of these invited speakers had his or her paper preceded by a mini-paper from one or more students from Hastings Boys High School. These boys ranged in size from the head boy, Arthur Trousdell, a national secondary schools basketball representative, to the truly diminutive third former whose eyes and hair alone were visible above the lectern. The audience, assembled from Dunedin, Christchurch, the West Coast, Wellington, Otaki, the Manawatu, Auckland, Hawkes Bay, and even Australia, "was impressed by the depth of research and quality of presentation displayed by the students" according to Doctor Cullen.

Ngati Huia has mandated further research. "The next step in the cloning process involves searching for Huia cells in the bones and tendons of preserved specimens" says Dr. Cullen. "If none are found, then we will try to extract DNA from those specimens and use Professor Hill's Jurassic Park technology".

The conference expenses were paid by, inc a California corporation that intends to provide university level courses suitable for Internet based learning to universities and colleges around the world., inc. is 20% owned by Maori and 20% by the Matthew Gardiner-Hill Community Trust, a leading New Zealand education charity, chaired by Dr. Cullen.

"The Matthew Gardiner-Hill Community Trust provides tertiary scholarships, third form bursaries, and teacher sabbaticals" says Dr. Cullen. "Our involvement in, inc is an extension of our support for education into the provision of course materials."


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>


Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>


Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>


Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>


Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news